Originally uploaded by jonesor
Soay is a small, primitive breed of sheep that are to be the related to the sheep that existed in the British Isles before the Norse and Romans brought their breeds to the Isle. Their name is derived from the island of Soay off the coast of Scotland.
The Soay in the US has a long and circuitous history. I will refer you to Southern Oregon Soay Sheep Farms website for a good bit of reading on the subject. They are tiny sheep weighing between 45 and 90 lbs. They do not show any flocking instinct and their short fleece sheds on an annual basis. Their color varies from tan to black along with several patterns. Rams have horns while the ewes can be horned or polled. They also have short tails that do not need to be docked.
The fleece comes in two types, a finer woolly type and a coarser kempy type that is called hairy. The staple length varied from about 2″ to about 3.5″ and total fleece weight can be anywhere from 3-5 lbs. Pretty impressive considering the small size of these sheep.
Thanks to OK State Breeds of Livestock, Southern Oregon Soay Sheep Farms, and Soays of America for the information in this post. Of course without the generosity of Amelia Carlson this article would not be possible.
The Tour De Fleece went well. I managed to spin every day of the tour, which was my goal. I finished my spinning with this batt.
Enchanted Knolls Farms Chai batts.
Now I need to decide if I’m going to follow with the Ravelympics. I’m thinking not… I need to get some weaving done and train a certain cute little puppy!
He loves the agility equipment at his puppy class that is for sure. Now if his recall was just as good…sigh…