Icelandic Sheep

“They were born of fire and ice and have not forgotten.”- Kateen Fitzgerald.

the Compass Rose flock has been stewarding this land since 2007, cultivating the fields and forests they live on.

Icelandic sheep are a hardy breed brought to Iceland from Norway in the 9th century. They belong to the northern european short tail breed and are considered one of the oldest breeds in the world. They have a great deal of genetic diversity; both ewes and rams can have horns, they have many patterns and colors.

Icelandic sheep are a duel coated breed, meaning that they have two fibers growing together, one long and strong called tog and the other short and fine called thell. The fineness of the thell is as soft as merino and the tog is strong enough to warp a loom. These animals supported our northern ancestors giving them meat, milk, leather and warm clothing. The woven cloth from Iceland was so valuable that it became a form of currency, three yards was equal to an ounce of silver.

Each Spring our flock is shorn releasing the sheep from their winter coats. After each fleece is shorn it is placed on a table to be sorted, the dirty bits removed, its rolled up and put in a cloth bag to go to the mill to be washed, picked and carded into roving for hand spinners to make into yarn.

This is a fun gathering to celebrate our years wool harvest. If you would like to join us or get some fiber, please contact us, we would love to share this unique experience with you.

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