Wool Breed: Miniature Harlequin Sheep
I recently received a lovely bit of wool from one of my Instagram spinning mates. The wool came from Harley, a Harlequin sheep that lives on a small family farm, not too far from her.
Harley had quite a bit of chaff in his locks. Probably from lazy, sunny afternoons, napping in the fields, then giving himself a big stretch and back scratch by rolling around in the hay.
Some things to know about these sheep:
- A rare breed of sheep that originated in the U.S.
- Easy going temper and easy to handle.
- They are classified as a miniature sheep though size can range and can be registered as classics as well.
- The fleece has spots of color and can have blue eyes.
Some 30 years ago, Kathleen Sterling, the owner of Black Sheep Farm East started the breeding program of Harlequin’s. The goal was to produce a fleece that had a variety of color, texture and staple length.
Some of the sheep used to develop the flock: Karakul, Tunis, Corriedale, Lincoln, Border Leicester, Romney, Montadle, Coopworth, Finn-Rambouillet, Southdown rams. The flock was closed about 15 years ago.
With the bits of chaff, I was not deterred from making some lovely punis rolags from the beautiful colors he offered up.
Punis rolags created on the drum carder
It took not time at all to spin the rolags up and here are the results.
45 yards of Navajo plied yarn. Besides the bits of chaff I could not get out, the yarn is so soft and squishy. It was a lovely project to do on a blustery Sunday.