Natural Wool Patterns On Irish Sheep

31Jul10

Nothing beats a cozy wool sweater for a “soft” day in Ireland (“Soft” means light rain in Ireland), but I also like the patterns that naturally emerge from sheeps’ wool before shearing, especially around their neck.

The above patterns are from my sister-in-law’s flock of 20 sheep in southern Ireland. A photographer (who took the picture below), Suzanna Crampton has 19 black Zwartble sheep and a single Suffolk Texal sheep named Bosco. The Zwartble are a striking black-fleeced breed of sheep from the Netherlands valued for their wool, milk and meat.

Every year, when shearing season comes, Suzanna trades sheep’s wool in exchange for shearing and sells what is left. One customer of her wool, Caroline Schofield, makes sculptures with wool on exhibit in the upcoming Kilkenny Arts Week.

Irony: Despite all the sheep in the Irish countryside, I had trouble a few summers ago finding wool to knit in Kilkenny.

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2 Responses to “Natural Wool Patterns On Irish Sheep”

  1. Hi – that is a fantastic picture – could I put it up on our wee webpage? Some of our members may be interested in getting wool from Suzanne. Sheila

  2. Thanks Sheila! Really nice website and I would love to learn more about feltmaking in Ireland during this visit.

    Yes, feel free to use any photos from my blog, but please give me a link!


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