Creating clothing with integrity means learning as much as we can about the raw materials and when possible, getting up close and personal with the source. Enter the newest additions to our menagerie at Three Graces Farm–five sweet ewes with very special coats.
Our sheep are varying degrees of the Gotland variety, representing a breed that is growing in this country. Dating back to the Viking era and originating from an island off the coast of Sweden, they are bred for meat as well as wool. There’s hope they will become a viable presence in North America for both industries. Full blooded Gotlands are still rare in the US, but our girls are a calculated mix in a gene pool that is intended to promote the breed, the result of a formal genetic program that was established in the US in 2003.
Gotlands are known for their silky, silver/ grey wool and for being relatively easy keepers for small farms. Medium sized with an agreeable temperament (we are told!) they don’t need much besides a grassy field and water. In return, they’ll share their lovely coats with us in the spring which we will use in creating a luscious and uniquely textured yarn. Lady Farmer sweaters on the horizon?
We have hosted sheep for grazing in our fields before so we know something about having them around, but this is our own flock. It’s a small beginning, but enough to get us all acquainted and to learn what we can expect from each other. They’re all girls, so no lambs in the spring, but if all goes well we’ll see about next year!