We raise the lovely and entertaining Jacob sheep on a small farm near Estacada, Oregon. These accommodating "lawn mowers" have opened many doors of interest; spinning, knitting, weaving and tanning. We occasionally have had trouble with predators (coyote, cougar and dogs), so our neighbor at Hidden Oak Llama ranch brought over Firefly. She is a great guard mama llama and is always right by her sheep making sure they are well protected. Watch out, she might spit at you if you get too close!
Our PNW climate allows us to do rotational, grass-feeding year around. Plus, we have a neighbor who appreciates having the flock come mow his pastures in the summer dry season. Our sheep are not grain fed, they are a primitive breed and do well with browsing, this keeps the blackberry out of our fields. Occasionally, we supplement with Western Oregon orchard grass during dry season and midwinter.
The Jacob's fleece is ideal for crafting as it gives three distinct colors in every fleece; creamy white, dark brown and gray. These colors can be blended for a lovely gray or separated for each color. We select our flock for the quality of the wool. It dyes and takes color wonderfully as well. I especially like to over-dye the gray yarns. I think the gray adds so much depth and interest to the yarn color.
This year our shearer is isolating at home, so it's fallen to me to hand shear. This makes for a fleece with very few second cuts. Really lovely fleece to work with for hand spinning. Check out the Shearing 2020 page for photos.