More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Sheep

Joanna here, wandering into historical byways of no particular use. 

You know the phrase, “I’ve done my research and now you’re going to suffer for it”? Comes up when somebody – an author for instance – is so pleased with what she knows that she lays ALL the facts on the poor Reader. So the Hero and Heroine stop on their elopement to consider the history of casting church bells in the bell field.

With me, right now, it’s sheep.

Wench phot jorghempel

Here you got a wild and free mouflon, the original sheep
photocredit jorjhempel

I’m working on a scene in which there are sheep in the distance. Unimportant sheep. Sheep without any plot role. Sheep that may not even get into the final draft.

So I’m going to lay some random historical sheep facts on you because  I have them.

Sheep are fortunate among domestic animals. In recent millennia their economic value lay in their milk and fleece and not so much as sheep stew, which gave some of them a long and toil-free life. Ewes earned their place in the Bronze Age economy as long as they kept sporting the curly white and having lambs.

 

Some argue the sheep was the second animal domesticated, right after  dogs, and I’m inclined to root for them in this second spot just because they’re nice animals, though strikingly stupid apparently. But, anyhow, we and sheep go way back.

“… he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields.”
     Douglas Adams 

 

Wench sheep Assyrian delegation perspolis

Here are some Assyrian sheep being offered as diplomatic gifts in Persepolis

The ancestral sheep was a tasty wild critter –the Mouflon – roaming free in Mesopotamia and other places of less interest at the moment because it was probably tamed in Mesopotamia.

We tease out proof of ongoing domestication by sorting through the animal bones tossed out after ancient dinners. There’s one pattern of bones for animals eaten if you’re stalking them about the hills and another pattern by age and sex if you’re culling your herd. And we can see the mud brick walls of an excavated village in Turkey where, ten thousand years ago, folks penned their semi-wild sheep in purpose-build areas between the houses, keeping them handy for dinner.

Wench soay

Soay Sheep, looking like a mouflon 
photocredit StephenJones

 

Everywhere across the middle east sheep were gradually de-wilded and made smaller, (because you don’t really want to wrestle with an animal that weighs as much as you do,) and more docile. They became, in short, “sheeplike”. 

But these ancient sheep were still milk, meat, and skin animals, like goats today. Wool production came later – four thousand years later – in Iran. This early wool was gathered, not by shearing, but by pulling the wool out by hand or plucking it out of the fields and off bushes when the sheep had brushed it off as they molted in the spring.

Wenches psyche gathering

Psyche gathering ram's wool from thorny bushes. I would be wearing more clothes if I were doing that

 

You’ll recall that’s how, in the Psyche and Cupid myth, Psyche gathered the wool of the fierce golden rams of the sun.

An advantage of hand plucking wool was that it allowed some separation of the coarse, straight guard  hairs, the kemps, from the shorter, softer, underlayer which was what everybody wanted. Original wool had many of these kemps mixed in where they did useful things for the mouflon like keep the driving rain off.

 

 

Wench not a soay gerome 1856

Not a Soay Sheep

A few still-existing breeds, the Soay and some Shetland types, preserve these wild traits and give us an idea of what Bronze Age wool looked like.

(I know someone on Twitter who raises Soays. I’ll have to ask them why.) 

The long process of selective breeding had begun. For the next little while – say from four thousand BCE onward – sheep farmers bred for fewer kemps and finer fibers. They wanted wool of great crimp and density. Crimp, for those of you hungry to acquire technical wool terms, is the natural waviness of the wool. Good crimp helps the cloth insulate and makes for a tight, light weave.
May all your wool (and alpaca) be well crimped.

If we’d been standing about in this period, idly watching from our time machines, the most obvious visual change would be that sheep stopped being the muddy brown that sinks into the visual landscape and keeps you from being eaten by Monsieur Wolf and became dye-able white.

Wenches wiki Suovetaurile_Louvre

A Roman sheep, headed off to be sacrificed to the god Mars.

The Romans were great improvers of sheep. Classical writers, being practical Roman types, gave lots of advice on how to breed a healthy herd. Columella directs the buyer of sheep to select for “broad forehead; long tail; hanging, woolly belly; shaggy, abundant, but not coarse neck hair; no horns; thick, white fleece; and (cough) large testicles.

 

The most highly prized Roman breed, famous for its fine wool, was the Tarentine. Having acquired your Tarentines, you coddled them.

“These [Tarentine] sheep were seldom fed outside, but rather assiduously attended to within spotless enclosures. If they were allowed to pasture, a clear field without brambles was recommended to avoid entanglement in the wool. Normally though, this would be a ‘jacketed’ breed: the sheep would wear a covering to protect their wool from the elements and entanglement. These jackets were routinely removed, and the sheep were soaked in wine and oil. They were thoroughly washed three times a year.”
     Holt Akers-Campbell

One pictures these sheep in sheep spas, lying around next to the pool, sipping wine.

Wench merino wool top human hair bottom CSIRO_ScienceImage_8115_Human_hair_and_Merino_wool_fibre

Human hair on the bottom Merino hair on top

Which bring us to the Merino. This is a frightfully important fine-wool breed, basis for most of the sweaters you wear. It’s a Spanish breed that emerges in the 12th century, probably originating in North Africa but interbred with many other sources. Merino wool dominated the fine wool trade in the Middle Ages, right up to the 1700s.

As with so many other good things, Merino wool was a monopoly. Export of Merino sheep from Spain was a capital crime up to the 18th century. (“We strung the varmint up fer sheep rustling!”)

Junger_Merinobock_mit_Aue_Eifel_April_2014

Merino sheep, hanging out
photo 4028mdk09 CC

Then, in 1723, a few were exported to Sweden and the sheep was out of the bag. More leaked to Saxony in 1765. Prussia, 1775. Then, in 1786, 366 arrived in France. Louis XVI had his own flock. The long Merino drought was over.

What this means, in terms of mentioning Merino sheep in England in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century, is that you gotta take some care with your accuracy.

You got yer Royal French Merinos. Saxony was a prolific center for wool from their hybrid Saxon-Merino population. But in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century the export of the sheep from Saxony was banned.(Where have I herd this ban thing before?)

And Britain hadn't been gifted any.

Sir Joseph Banks, naturalist and arguably good guy, procured (by what methods we shall not inquire into) 6 Merinos in 1787 and a further 40 in 1792 by more legitimate means. These founded a royal flock at Kew.  They were handed out as Royal gifts, carefully, across England.

Merino_sheep in wool

Merino sheep with more wool than the ones above who were maybe clipped more recently

". . . flock was carefully 'guarded against all danger of the admission of impure blood' – and distributed it to the most worthy stewards. During the early years of the flock's existence, the monarch magnanimously bestowed animals on those agricultural worthies willing to undertake the experiment of their cultivation . . . Over time . . . 'their wool 'rather gained than lost in value.'"
    Rebecca J.H  Woods

Wench Champion_Merino_ram_(1905)

Not merely a Merino sheep. A 1906 champion

The Napoleonic Wars, that put paid to so many things, destroyed Merino breeding in Spain. The embargo there was lifted. Saxony, too, dropped its ban on the export of Merinos. In 1808, 2000 Merinos arrived in England and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, while there were a few Merinos decorating the English landscape earlier, they would have been pretty rare before the second decade of the 19th Century.

However, somewhat after 1810, your hero and heroine can stroll in the fields at twilight and watch the Merino lambs gamboling among the daisies and plot their assault on the Crown Jewels.
And it's agriculturally correct

 

So, what about wool and you? Do you wear wool or does the very idea make you want to wriggle and scratch? Where do you stand on wool next to the skin?

(Me, I prefer alpaca.)

235 thoughts on “More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Sheep”

  1. You wenches amaze me. I don’t think I have given very much thought to sheep over the years, yet I found this post fascinating. Too bad they are too dumb to realize how lucky they are that we love them for fleece rather than their steaks. They may be dumb, but they are sweet looking animals though.
    I do not like the feel of wool next to my skin, but I have had wool coats over the years. Most things that I wear next to my skin are a practical blend of cotton and polyester.
    Thanks for the post – very interesting. I bet you could even make a history of polyester interesting (smile).

    Reply
  2. You wenches amaze me. I don’t think I have given very much thought to sheep over the years, yet I found this post fascinating. Too bad they are too dumb to realize how lucky they are that we love them for fleece rather than their steaks. They may be dumb, but they are sweet looking animals though.
    I do not like the feel of wool next to my skin, but I have had wool coats over the years. Most things that I wear next to my skin are a practical blend of cotton and polyester.
    Thanks for the post – very interesting. I bet you could even make a history of polyester interesting (smile).

    Reply
  3. You wenches amaze me. I don’t think I have given very much thought to sheep over the years, yet I found this post fascinating. Too bad they are too dumb to realize how lucky they are that we love them for fleece rather than their steaks. They may be dumb, but they are sweet looking animals though.
    I do not like the feel of wool next to my skin, but I have had wool coats over the years. Most things that I wear next to my skin are a practical blend of cotton and polyester.
    Thanks for the post – very interesting. I bet you could even make a history of polyester interesting (smile).

    Reply
  4. You wenches amaze me. I don’t think I have given very much thought to sheep over the years, yet I found this post fascinating. Too bad they are too dumb to realize how lucky they are that we love them for fleece rather than their steaks. They may be dumb, but they are sweet looking animals though.
    I do not like the feel of wool next to my skin, but I have had wool coats over the years. Most things that I wear next to my skin are a practical blend of cotton and polyester.
    Thanks for the post – very interesting. I bet you could even make a history of polyester interesting (smile).

    Reply
  5. You wenches amaze me. I don’t think I have given very much thought to sheep over the years, yet I found this post fascinating. Too bad they are too dumb to realize how lucky they are that we love them for fleece rather than their steaks. They may be dumb, but they are sweet looking animals though.
    I do not like the feel of wool next to my skin, but I have had wool coats over the years. Most things that I wear next to my skin are a practical blend of cotton and polyester.
    Thanks for the post – very interesting. I bet you could even make a history of polyester interesting (smile).

    Reply
  6. That’s the nice thing about writing. (One of the nice things.) You get to hang about, indulging yourself with research, and it counts as work.
    I’m a fan of wool that doesn’t touch my skin anywhere, but hate it when it does.
    Some years wool is too warm for my Virginia mountains. Sometimes it’s just right.

    Reply
  7. That’s the nice thing about writing. (One of the nice things.) You get to hang about, indulging yourself with research, and it counts as work.
    I’m a fan of wool that doesn’t touch my skin anywhere, but hate it when it does.
    Some years wool is too warm for my Virginia mountains. Sometimes it’s just right.

    Reply
  8. That’s the nice thing about writing. (One of the nice things.) You get to hang about, indulging yourself with research, and it counts as work.
    I’m a fan of wool that doesn’t touch my skin anywhere, but hate it when it does.
    Some years wool is too warm for my Virginia mountains. Sometimes it’s just right.

    Reply
  9. That’s the nice thing about writing. (One of the nice things.) You get to hang about, indulging yourself with research, and it counts as work.
    I’m a fan of wool that doesn’t touch my skin anywhere, but hate it when it does.
    Some years wool is too warm for my Virginia mountains. Sometimes it’s just right.

    Reply
  10. That’s the nice thing about writing. (One of the nice things.) You get to hang about, indulging yourself with research, and it counts as work.
    I’m a fan of wool that doesn’t touch my skin anywhere, but hate it when it does.
    Some years wool is too warm for my Virginia mountains. Sometimes it’s just right.

    Reply
  11. LOL! You do the best explications of the most interesting topics, Joanna. I particularly like the image of the Tarentines lounging in the spa and sipping their wine.
    Alas, I’ve become more sensitive to wool over the years and will no longer buy anything with more than a couple of percent wool content, and probably not even that, thus depriving me of the acquisition of many beautiful sweaters. Cotton is less warm, but also less assertive.

    Reply
  12. LOL! You do the best explications of the most interesting topics, Joanna. I particularly like the image of the Tarentines lounging in the spa and sipping their wine.
    Alas, I’ve become more sensitive to wool over the years and will no longer buy anything with more than a couple of percent wool content, and probably not even that, thus depriving me of the acquisition of many beautiful sweaters. Cotton is less warm, but also less assertive.

    Reply
  13. LOL! You do the best explications of the most interesting topics, Joanna. I particularly like the image of the Tarentines lounging in the spa and sipping their wine.
    Alas, I’ve become more sensitive to wool over the years and will no longer buy anything with more than a couple of percent wool content, and probably not even that, thus depriving me of the acquisition of many beautiful sweaters. Cotton is less warm, but also less assertive.

    Reply
  14. LOL! You do the best explications of the most interesting topics, Joanna. I particularly like the image of the Tarentines lounging in the spa and sipping their wine.
    Alas, I’ve become more sensitive to wool over the years and will no longer buy anything with more than a couple of percent wool content, and probably not even that, thus depriving me of the acquisition of many beautiful sweaters. Cotton is less warm, but also less assertive.

    Reply
  15. LOL! You do the best explications of the most interesting topics, Joanna. I particularly like the image of the Tarentines lounging in the spa and sipping their wine.
    Alas, I’ve become more sensitive to wool over the years and will no longer buy anything with more than a couple of percent wool content, and probably not even that, thus depriving me of the acquisition of many beautiful sweaters. Cotton is less warm, but also less assertive.

    Reply
  16. Fascinating article. Thanks for posting. Some wool makes my skin itch, but Smartwool and many cashmere’s do not, for some reason. Great for my cold feet and neck.

    Reply
  17. Fascinating article. Thanks for posting. Some wool makes my skin itch, but Smartwool and many cashmere’s do not, for some reason. Great for my cold feet and neck.

    Reply
  18. Fascinating article. Thanks for posting. Some wool makes my skin itch, but Smartwool and many cashmere’s do not, for some reason. Great for my cold feet and neck.

    Reply
  19. Fascinating article. Thanks for posting. Some wool makes my skin itch, but Smartwool and many cashmere’s do not, for some reason. Great for my cold feet and neck.

    Reply
  20. Fascinating article. Thanks for posting. Some wool makes my skin itch, but Smartwool and many cashmere’s do not, for some reason. Great for my cold feet and neck.

    Reply
  21. “You’ll recall that’s how, in the Psyche and Cupid myth, Psyche gathered the wool of the fierce golden rams of the sun.”
    Well, no, I can’t say that I do recall that. (It’s been a long time.) You sort of remind me of Macaulay saying in a speech,”as every schoolboy knows…”

    Reply
  22. “You’ll recall that’s how, in the Psyche and Cupid myth, Psyche gathered the wool of the fierce golden rams of the sun.”
    Well, no, I can’t say that I do recall that. (It’s been a long time.) You sort of remind me of Macaulay saying in a speech,”as every schoolboy knows…”

    Reply
  23. “You’ll recall that’s how, in the Psyche and Cupid myth, Psyche gathered the wool of the fierce golden rams of the sun.”
    Well, no, I can’t say that I do recall that. (It’s been a long time.) You sort of remind me of Macaulay saying in a speech,”as every schoolboy knows…”

    Reply
  24. “You’ll recall that’s how, in the Psyche and Cupid myth, Psyche gathered the wool of the fierce golden rams of the sun.”
    Well, no, I can’t say that I do recall that. (It’s been a long time.) You sort of remind me of Macaulay saying in a speech,”as every schoolboy knows…”

    Reply
  25. “You’ll recall that’s how, in the Psyche and Cupid myth, Psyche gathered the wool of the fierce golden rams of the sun.”
    Well, no, I can’t say that I do recall that. (It’s been a long time.) You sort of remind me of Macaulay saying in a speech,”as every schoolboy knows…”

    Reply
  26. I’m among those sensitive to wool. As a knitter I adore working with it, but am mostly denied that pleasure because of the sensitivity.
    Luckily, sensitivities don’t extend to reading. This was a most fascinating post. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
  27. I’m among those sensitive to wool. As a knitter I adore working with it, but am mostly denied that pleasure because of the sensitivity.
    Luckily, sensitivities don’t extend to reading. This was a most fascinating post. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
  28. I’m among those sensitive to wool. As a knitter I adore working with it, but am mostly denied that pleasure because of the sensitivity.
    Luckily, sensitivities don’t extend to reading. This was a most fascinating post. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
  29. I’m among those sensitive to wool. As a knitter I adore working with it, but am mostly denied that pleasure because of the sensitivity.
    Luckily, sensitivities don’t extend to reading. This was a most fascinating post. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
  30. I’m among those sensitive to wool. As a knitter I adore working with it, but am mostly denied that pleasure because of the sensitivity.
    Luckily, sensitivities don’t extend to reading. This was a most fascinating post. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
  31. Most wool feels scratchy, and it needs special care, but cashmere feels nice and the extra care effort is worth it. Where I live, however, heavy coats aren’t necessary so I have no real need for wool.
    Off the top of my head, I can only think of one regency in which sheep played much of a part, and that was The Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler. Which I liked very much.

    Reply
  32. Most wool feels scratchy, and it needs special care, but cashmere feels nice and the extra care effort is worth it. Where I live, however, heavy coats aren’t necessary so I have no real need for wool.
    Off the top of my head, I can only think of one regency in which sheep played much of a part, and that was The Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler. Which I liked very much.

    Reply
  33. Most wool feels scratchy, and it needs special care, but cashmere feels nice and the extra care effort is worth it. Where I live, however, heavy coats aren’t necessary so I have no real need for wool.
    Off the top of my head, I can only think of one regency in which sheep played much of a part, and that was The Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler. Which I liked very much.

    Reply
  34. Most wool feels scratchy, and it needs special care, but cashmere feels nice and the extra care effort is worth it. Where I live, however, heavy coats aren’t necessary so I have no real need for wool.
    Off the top of my head, I can only think of one regency in which sheep played much of a part, and that was The Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler. Which I liked very much.

    Reply
  35. Most wool feels scratchy, and it needs special care, but cashmere feels nice and the extra care effort is worth it. Where I live, however, heavy coats aren’t necessary so I have no real need for wool.
    Off the top of my head, I can only think of one regency in which sheep played much of a part, and that was The Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler. Which I liked very much.

    Reply
  36. Loved the dip into “Sheep Time”… As for if I wear wool, yes smart wool socks.
    Wool sweaters used to itch me a bit but once I got to Hot Flash time I quit wearing sweaters, turtlenecks, etc. Only zip up or button up jackets and shirts (that I wear a short sleeve tee underneath.)
    One of my sisters can’t wear anything with even a hint of wool in it. It causes her to break out in a rash.
    All this sheep history leads me to ask this question, what kind of sheep did they populate Scotland with after the Clearances took place? Because that was the general theme I believe…turf out people, replace with sheep. (That is if I remember my history correctly.)

    Reply
  37. Loved the dip into “Sheep Time”… As for if I wear wool, yes smart wool socks.
    Wool sweaters used to itch me a bit but once I got to Hot Flash time I quit wearing sweaters, turtlenecks, etc. Only zip up or button up jackets and shirts (that I wear a short sleeve tee underneath.)
    One of my sisters can’t wear anything with even a hint of wool in it. It causes her to break out in a rash.
    All this sheep history leads me to ask this question, what kind of sheep did they populate Scotland with after the Clearances took place? Because that was the general theme I believe…turf out people, replace with sheep. (That is if I remember my history correctly.)

    Reply
  38. Loved the dip into “Sheep Time”… As for if I wear wool, yes smart wool socks.
    Wool sweaters used to itch me a bit but once I got to Hot Flash time I quit wearing sweaters, turtlenecks, etc. Only zip up or button up jackets and shirts (that I wear a short sleeve tee underneath.)
    One of my sisters can’t wear anything with even a hint of wool in it. It causes her to break out in a rash.
    All this sheep history leads me to ask this question, what kind of sheep did they populate Scotland with after the Clearances took place? Because that was the general theme I believe…turf out people, replace with sheep. (That is if I remember my history correctly.)

    Reply
  39. Loved the dip into “Sheep Time”… As for if I wear wool, yes smart wool socks.
    Wool sweaters used to itch me a bit but once I got to Hot Flash time I quit wearing sweaters, turtlenecks, etc. Only zip up or button up jackets and shirts (that I wear a short sleeve tee underneath.)
    One of my sisters can’t wear anything with even a hint of wool in it. It causes her to break out in a rash.
    All this sheep history leads me to ask this question, what kind of sheep did they populate Scotland with after the Clearances took place? Because that was the general theme I believe…turf out people, replace with sheep. (That is if I remember my history correctly.)

    Reply
  40. Loved the dip into “Sheep Time”… As for if I wear wool, yes smart wool socks.
    Wool sweaters used to itch me a bit but once I got to Hot Flash time I quit wearing sweaters, turtlenecks, etc. Only zip up or button up jackets and shirts (that I wear a short sleeve tee underneath.)
    One of my sisters can’t wear anything with even a hint of wool in it. It causes her to break out in a rash.
    All this sheep history leads me to ask this question, what kind of sheep did they populate Scotland with after the Clearances took place? Because that was the general theme I believe…turf out people, replace with sheep. (That is if I remember my history correctly.)

    Reply
  41. When I was young, I couldn’t stand wool on my skin. Now though you can add me to those who like SmartWool socks. I can also wear cashmere (though that is from goats). Will there be a goat post in the future, Joanna? Thanks for a fun and informative post!

    Reply
  42. When I was young, I couldn’t stand wool on my skin. Now though you can add me to those who like SmartWool socks. I can also wear cashmere (though that is from goats). Will there be a goat post in the future, Joanna? Thanks for a fun and informative post!

    Reply
  43. When I was young, I couldn’t stand wool on my skin. Now though you can add me to those who like SmartWool socks. I can also wear cashmere (though that is from goats). Will there be a goat post in the future, Joanna? Thanks for a fun and informative post!

    Reply
  44. When I was young, I couldn’t stand wool on my skin. Now though you can add me to those who like SmartWool socks. I can also wear cashmere (though that is from goats). Will there be a goat post in the future, Joanna? Thanks for a fun and informative post!

    Reply
  45. When I was young, I couldn’t stand wool on my skin. Now though you can add me to those who like SmartWool socks. I can also wear cashmere (though that is from goats). Will there be a goat post in the future, Joanna? Thanks for a fun and informative post!

    Reply
  46. Sheep’s wool is a no, even the supposedly “non-itchy” fine merino. I can wear cashmere and angora though… But what I most covet is a scarf made of qiviut! Feather-light, incredibly warm and soft…and also more precious than gold. *sigh* One can but dream!

    Reply
  47. Sheep’s wool is a no, even the supposedly “non-itchy” fine merino. I can wear cashmere and angora though… But what I most covet is a scarf made of qiviut! Feather-light, incredibly warm and soft…and also more precious than gold. *sigh* One can but dream!

    Reply
  48. Sheep’s wool is a no, even the supposedly “non-itchy” fine merino. I can wear cashmere and angora though… But what I most covet is a scarf made of qiviut! Feather-light, incredibly warm and soft…and also more precious than gold. *sigh* One can but dream!

    Reply
  49. Sheep’s wool is a no, even the supposedly “non-itchy” fine merino. I can wear cashmere and angora though… But what I most covet is a scarf made of qiviut! Feather-light, incredibly warm and soft…and also more precious than gold. *sigh* One can but dream!

    Reply
  50. Sheep’s wool is a no, even the supposedly “non-itchy” fine merino. I can wear cashmere and angora though… But what I most covet is a scarf made of qiviut! Feather-light, incredibly warm and soft…and also more precious than gold. *sigh* One can but dream!

    Reply
  51. I don’t think I’ve worn anything wool for years, but by coincidence I have been contemplating sheep since I was in the Scottish countryside a few weeks ago. The sheep there appeared pearly white in the sun, so pretty I wanted a photo. Unfortunately, our guide, Michael, was unable to find an appropriate place to pull over until late afternoon, when the sun was weak. Then, the photo op went south when a whole bunch of sheep lined up—with their butts facing us! Michael has since made this up to us with a nifty shot of face-forward woolies he caught a few days later, lol.
    Fun fact for Kareni: In Turkey, we observed, shepherds use goats, not dogs, to manage sheep (by leading, not herding). Apparently goats are smart, sheep not so much—they’ll follow the goat anywhere.

    Reply
  52. I don’t think I’ve worn anything wool for years, but by coincidence I have been contemplating sheep since I was in the Scottish countryside a few weeks ago. The sheep there appeared pearly white in the sun, so pretty I wanted a photo. Unfortunately, our guide, Michael, was unable to find an appropriate place to pull over until late afternoon, when the sun was weak. Then, the photo op went south when a whole bunch of sheep lined up—with their butts facing us! Michael has since made this up to us with a nifty shot of face-forward woolies he caught a few days later, lol.
    Fun fact for Kareni: In Turkey, we observed, shepherds use goats, not dogs, to manage sheep (by leading, not herding). Apparently goats are smart, sheep not so much—they’ll follow the goat anywhere.

    Reply
  53. I don’t think I’ve worn anything wool for years, but by coincidence I have been contemplating sheep since I was in the Scottish countryside a few weeks ago. The sheep there appeared pearly white in the sun, so pretty I wanted a photo. Unfortunately, our guide, Michael, was unable to find an appropriate place to pull over until late afternoon, when the sun was weak. Then, the photo op went south when a whole bunch of sheep lined up—with their butts facing us! Michael has since made this up to us with a nifty shot of face-forward woolies he caught a few days later, lol.
    Fun fact for Kareni: In Turkey, we observed, shepherds use goats, not dogs, to manage sheep (by leading, not herding). Apparently goats are smart, sheep not so much—they’ll follow the goat anywhere.

    Reply
  54. I don’t think I’ve worn anything wool for years, but by coincidence I have been contemplating sheep since I was in the Scottish countryside a few weeks ago. The sheep there appeared pearly white in the sun, so pretty I wanted a photo. Unfortunately, our guide, Michael, was unable to find an appropriate place to pull over until late afternoon, when the sun was weak. Then, the photo op went south when a whole bunch of sheep lined up—with their butts facing us! Michael has since made this up to us with a nifty shot of face-forward woolies he caught a few days later, lol.
    Fun fact for Kareni: In Turkey, we observed, shepherds use goats, not dogs, to manage sheep (by leading, not herding). Apparently goats are smart, sheep not so much—they’ll follow the goat anywhere.

    Reply
  55. I don’t think I’ve worn anything wool for years, but by coincidence I have been contemplating sheep since I was in the Scottish countryside a few weeks ago. The sheep there appeared pearly white in the sun, so pretty I wanted a photo. Unfortunately, our guide, Michael, was unable to find an appropriate place to pull over until late afternoon, when the sun was weak. Then, the photo op went south when a whole bunch of sheep lined up—with their butts facing us! Michael has since made this up to us with a nifty shot of face-forward woolies he caught a few days later, lol.
    Fun fact for Kareni: In Turkey, we observed, shepherds use goats, not dogs, to manage sheep (by leading, not herding). Apparently goats are smart, sheep not so much—they’ll follow the goat anywhere.

    Reply
  56. Fun post! I quite like sheep — enjoyed scratching them between the ears and nudging them back into their pen (for if one gets away all the rest follow) at the county fair one year.
    I was reading a historical novel lately in which some feisty northern sheep had to be kept at bay by some traveling performers. The sheep wanted the feed which was meant for the horses. I’d never thought of sheep as aggressive, but hungry sheep, sure, why not?

    Reply
  57. Fun post! I quite like sheep — enjoyed scratching them between the ears and nudging them back into their pen (for if one gets away all the rest follow) at the county fair one year.
    I was reading a historical novel lately in which some feisty northern sheep had to be kept at bay by some traveling performers. The sheep wanted the feed which was meant for the horses. I’d never thought of sheep as aggressive, but hungry sheep, sure, why not?

    Reply
  58. Fun post! I quite like sheep — enjoyed scratching them between the ears and nudging them back into their pen (for if one gets away all the rest follow) at the county fair one year.
    I was reading a historical novel lately in which some feisty northern sheep had to be kept at bay by some traveling performers. The sheep wanted the feed which was meant for the horses. I’d never thought of sheep as aggressive, but hungry sheep, sure, why not?

    Reply
  59. Fun post! I quite like sheep — enjoyed scratching them between the ears and nudging them back into their pen (for if one gets away all the rest follow) at the county fair one year.
    I was reading a historical novel lately in which some feisty northern sheep had to be kept at bay by some traveling performers. The sheep wanted the feed which was meant for the horses. I’d never thought of sheep as aggressive, but hungry sheep, sure, why not?

    Reply
  60. Fun post! I quite like sheep — enjoyed scratching them between the ears and nudging them back into their pen (for if one gets away all the rest follow) at the county fair one year.
    I was reading a historical novel lately in which some feisty northern sheep had to be kept at bay by some traveling performers. The sheep wanted the feed which was meant for the horses. I’d never thought of sheep as aggressive, but hungry sheep, sure, why not?

    Reply
  61. Sonya, I’ve always known Australia and sheep go together. But thank you for letting me know of the merino connection.

    Reply
  62. Sonya, I’ve always known Australia and sheep go together. But thank you for letting me know of the merino connection.

    Reply
  63. Sonya, I’ve always known Australia and sheep go together. But thank you for letting me know of the merino connection.

    Reply
  64. Sonya, I’ve always known Australia and sheep go together. But thank you for letting me know of the merino connection.

    Reply
  65. Sonya, I’ve always known Australia and sheep go together. But thank you for letting me know of the merino connection.

    Reply
  66. I found this post fascinating! I’m one of those people who just soak up the historical good stuff in a Regency (or some years before and after,) and I don’t think I’ve ever read one that had too much. I also crack up when I read book reviews that say they ‘just want the plot and the romance (the juicy parts I’m assuming,) not a history lesson.’ If I’ve already read the book, and want to add my review and don’t want to say the exact same thing, I’m thinking ‘what!?’ If I haven’t read it yet I’ll be r e a l l y wanting to read that one.
    We lived in central New York State for 18 years, with long winters. I used to buy a new pair of big thick men’s wool socks every year to wear around the house for warmth yet with breathability.
    I read this post for the date of introduction of Merinos hoping to find a snipit of history relating to Scotland. Scotland had its own trade agreements around the world and definitely Spain before the clearances. I’m thinking of one particular historical novel where the woman of the house treated her Merinos with such care as with her own children.

    Reply
  67. I found this post fascinating! I’m one of those people who just soak up the historical good stuff in a Regency (or some years before and after,) and I don’t think I’ve ever read one that had too much. I also crack up when I read book reviews that say they ‘just want the plot and the romance (the juicy parts I’m assuming,) not a history lesson.’ If I’ve already read the book, and want to add my review and don’t want to say the exact same thing, I’m thinking ‘what!?’ If I haven’t read it yet I’ll be r e a l l y wanting to read that one.
    We lived in central New York State for 18 years, with long winters. I used to buy a new pair of big thick men’s wool socks every year to wear around the house for warmth yet with breathability.
    I read this post for the date of introduction of Merinos hoping to find a snipit of history relating to Scotland. Scotland had its own trade agreements around the world and definitely Spain before the clearances. I’m thinking of one particular historical novel where the woman of the house treated her Merinos with such care as with her own children.

    Reply
  68. I found this post fascinating! I’m one of those people who just soak up the historical good stuff in a Regency (or some years before and after,) and I don’t think I’ve ever read one that had too much. I also crack up when I read book reviews that say they ‘just want the plot and the romance (the juicy parts I’m assuming,) not a history lesson.’ If I’ve already read the book, and want to add my review and don’t want to say the exact same thing, I’m thinking ‘what!?’ If I haven’t read it yet I’ll be r e a l l y wanting to read that one.
    We lived in central New York State for 18 years, with long winters. I used to buy a new pair of big thick men’s wool socks every year to wear around the house for warmth yet with breathability.
    I read this post for the date of introduction of Merinos hoping to find a snipit of history relating to Scotland. Scotland had its own trade agreements around the world and definitely Spain before the clearances. I’m thinking of one particular historical novel where the woman of the house treated her Merinos with such care as with her own children.

    Reply
  69. I found this post fascinating! I’m one of those people who just soak up the historical good stuff in a Regency (or some years before and after,) and I don’t think I’ve ever read one that had too much. I also crack up when I read book reviews that say they ‘just want the plot and the romance (the juicy parts I’m assuming,) not a history lesson.’ If I’ve already read the book, and want to add my review and don’t want to say the exact same thing, I’m thinking ‘what!?’ If I haven’t read it yet I’ll be r e a l l y wanting to read that one.
    We lived in central New York State for 18 years, with long winters. I used to buy a new pair of big thick men’s wool socks every year to wear around the house for warmth yet with breathability.
    I read this post for the date of introduction of Merinos hoping to find a snipit of history relating to Scotland. Scotland had its own trade agreements around the world and definitely Spain before the clearances. I’m thinking of one particular historical novel where the woman of the house treated her Merinos with such care as with her own children.

    Reply
  70. I found this post fascinating! I’m one of those people who just soak up the historical good stuff in a Regency (or some years before and after,) and I don’t think I’ve ever read one that had too much. I also crack up when I read book reviews that say they ‘just want the plot and the romance (the juicy parts I’m assuming,) not a history lesson.’ If I’ve already read the book, and want to add my review and don’t want to say the exact same thing, I’m thinking ‘what!?’ If I haven’t read it yet I’ll be r e a l l y wanting to read that one.
    We lived in central New York State for 18 years, with long winters. I used to buy a new pair of big thick men’s wool socks every year to wear around the house for warmth yet with breathability.
    I read this post for the date of introduction of Merinos hoping to find a snipit of history relating to Scotland. Scotland had its own trade agreements around the world and definitely Spain before the clearances. I’m thinking of one particular historical novel where the woman of the house treated her Merinos with such care as with her own children.

    Reply
  71. Sheep are “cute”. I do not want to eat the meat, for me it is not the least bit tempting. Lambs are absolutely lovely to watch. But I do understand that they do not become really intelligent animals.
    Wool does not seem to bother me as far as allergies. I love the feel of cashmere. I have a llama garment that was a gift from Peru, and it feels fine to me.
    At one time in my life, I lived with a wonderful Siamese cat and I found out that some cats of that breed like to chew on wool. I mean really chew on wool. Apparently it is exclusive to Siamese cats.
    Thanks for this article. I am now going to go find more information about Soay and Tarentine sheep.

    Reply
  72. Sheep are “cute”. I do not want to eat the meat, for me it is not the least bit tempting. Lambs are absolutely lovely to watch. But I do understand that they do not become really intelligent animals.
    Wool does not seem to bother me as far as allergies. I love the feel of cashmere. I have a llama garment that was a gift from Peru, and it feels fine to me.
    At one time in my life, I lived with a wonderful Siamese cat and I found out that some cats of that breed like to chew on wool. I mean really chew on wool. Apparently it is exclusive to Siamese cats.
    Thanks for this article. I am now going to go find more information about Soay and Tarentine sheep.

    Reply
  73. Sheep are “cute”. I do not want to eat the meat, for me it is not the least bit tempting. Lambs are absolutely lovely to watch. But I do understand that they do not become really intelligent animals.
    Wool does not seem to bother me as far as allergies. I love the feel of cashmere. I have a llama garment that was a gift from Peru, and it feels fine to me.
    At one time in my life, I lived with a wonderful Siamese cat and I found out that some cats of that breed like to chew on wool. I mean really chew on wool. Apparently it is exclusive to Siamese cats.
    Thanks for this article. I am now going to go find more information about Soay and Tarentine sheep.

    Reply
  74. Sheep are “cute”. I do not want to eat the meat, for me it is not the least bit tempting. Lambs are absolutely lovely to watch. But I do understand that they do not become really intelligent animals.
    Wool does not seem to bother me as far as allergies. I love the feel of cashmere. I have a llama garment that was a gift from Peru, and it feels fine to me.
    At one time in my life, I lived with a wonderful Siamese cat and I found out that some cats of that breed like to chew on wool. I mean really chew on wool. Apparently it is exclusive to Siamese cats.
    Thanks for this article. I am now going to go find more information about Soay and Tarentine sheep.

    Reply
  75. Sheep are “cute”. I do not want to eat the meat, for me it is not the least bit tempting. Lambs are absolutely lovely to watch. But I do understand that they do not become really intelligent animals.
    Wool does not seem to bother me as far as allergies. I love the feel of cashmere. I have a llama garment that was a gift from Peru, and it feels fine to me.
    At one time in my life, I lived with a wonderful Siamese cat and I found out that some cats of that breed like to chew on wool. I mean really chew on wool. Apparently it is exclusive to Siamese cats.
    Thanks for this article. I am now going to go find more information about Soay and Tarentine sheep.

    Reply
  76. I wear wool socks and they seem to be okay. I don’t know why wool socks should be gentle to the skin.
    One pair is buffalo wool. Talk about yer strange family holiday presents (that turn out to be utterly cool).

    Reply
  77. I wear wool socks and they seem to be okay. I don’t know why wool socks should be gentle to the skin.
    One pair is buffalo wool. Talk about yer strange family holiday presents (that turn out to be utterly cool).

    Reply
  78. I wear wool socks and they seem to be okay. I don’t know why wool socks should be gentle to the skin.
    One pair is buffalo wool. Talk about yer strange family holiday presents (that turn out to be utterly cool).

    Reply
  79. I wear wool socks and they seem to be okay. I don’t know why wool socks should be gentle to the skin.
    One pair is buffalo wool. Talk about yer strange family holiday presents (that turn out to be utterly cool).

    Reply
  80. I wear wool socks and they seem to be okay. I don’t know why wool socks should be gentle to the skin.
    One pair is buffalo wool. Talk about yer strange family holiday presents (that turn out to be utterly cool).

    Reply
  81. I can’t knit or crochet with wool — not that I do much of that anyway and I have no skill with either. There’s something about holding wool yarn for hours with my sweaty hands that sets off all the sensitivities.

    Reply
  82. I can’t knit or crochet with wool — not that I do much of that anyway and I have no skill with either. There’s something about holding wool yarn for hours with my sweaty hands that sets off all the sensitivities.

    Reply
  83. I can’t knit or crochet with wool — not that I do much of that anyway and I have no skill with either. There’s something about holding wool yarn for hours with my sweaty hands that sets off all the sensitivities.

    Reply
  84. I can’t knit or crochet with wool — not that I do much of that anyway and I have no skill with either. There’s something about holding wool yarn for hours with my sweaty hands that sets off all the sensitivities.

    Reply
  85. I can’t knit or crochet with wool — not that I do much of that anyway and I have no skill with either. There’s something about holding wool yarn for hours with my sweaty hands that sets off all the sensitivities.

    Reply
  86. Grace Burrowes has several books with what might be called a sheep theme.
    I think cashmere is made from the fleece of a goat if one wants to get technical about it. I will see some out one of these days and see how it is to knit, since I’m now curious.

    Reply
  87. Grace Burrowes has several books with what might be called a sheep theme.
    I think cashmere is made from the fleece of a goat if one wants to get technical about it. I will see some out one of these days and see how it is to knit, since I’m now curious.

    Reply
  88. Grace Burrowes has several books with what might be called a sheep theme.
    I think cashmere is made from the fleece of a goat if one wants to get technical about it. I will see some out one of these days and see how it is to knit, since I’m now curious.

    Reply
  89. Grace Burrowes has several books with what might be called a sheep theme.
    I think cashmere is made from the fleece of a goat if one wants to get technical about it. I will see some out one of these days and see how it is to knit, since I’m now curious.

    Reply
  90. Grace Burrowes has several books with what might be called a sheep theme.
    I think cashmere is made from the fleece of a goat if one wants to get technical about it. I will see some out one of these days and see how it is to knit, since I’m now curious.

    Reply
  91. I don’t see a scene with goats in it in my future. So probably no posting on the history of goats.
    I am fond of goat cheese, however, so it is not entirely impossible.
    SmartWool socks appear to be made of Merino wool. Treated in some way? I dunnoh.

    Reply
  92. I don’t see a scene with goats in it in my future. So probably no posting on the history of goats.
    I am fond of goat cheese, however, so it is not entirely impossible.
    SmartWool socks appear to be made of Merino wool. Treated in some way? I dunnoh.

    Reply
  93. I don’t see a scene with goats in it in my future. So probably no posting on the history of goats.
    I am fond of goat cheese, however, so it is not entirely impossible.
    SmartWool socks appear to be made of Merino wool. Treated in some way? I dunnoh.

    Reply
  94. I don’t see a scene with goats in it in my future. So probably no posting on the history of goats.
    I am fond of goat cheese, however, so it is not entirely impossible.
    SmartWool socks appear to be made of Merino wool. Treated in some way? I dunnoh.

    Reply
  95. I don’t see a scene with goats in it in my future. So probably no posting on the history of goats.
    I am fond of goat cheese, however, so it is not entirely impossible.
    SmartWool socks appear to be made of Merino wool. Treated in some way? I dunnoh.

    Reply
  96. I was delighted to discover in the course of research that llamas are used to guard flocks of sheep from smaller predators. Not wolves, but foxes and wild dogs.
    Apparently the llamas come to feel like on of the flock and defend their flock fellows. Having somewhat more gumption, they do a good job.
    I just wonder how somebody discovered this. Putting a llama in with the sheep is not the first thing that would occur to me.

    Reply
  97. I was delighted to discover in the course of research that llamas are used to guard flocks of sheep from smaller predators. Not wolves, but foxes and wild dogs.
    Apparently the llamas come to feel like on of the flock and defend their flock fellows. Having somewhat more gumption, they do a good job.
    I just wonder how somebody discovered this. Putting a llama in with the sheep is not the first thing that would occur to me.

    Reply
  98. I was delighted to discover in the course of research that llamas are used to guard flocks of sheep from smaller predators. Not wolves, but foxes and wild dogs.
    Apparently the llamas come to feel like on of the flock and defend their flock fellows. Having somewhat more gumption, they do a good job.
    I just wonder how somebody discovered this. Putting a llama in with the sheep is not the first thing that would occur to me.

    Reply
  99. I was delighted to discover in the course of research that llamas are used to guard flocks of sheep from smaller predators. Not wolves, but foxes and wild dogs.
    Apparently the llamas come to feel like on of the flock and defend their flock fellows. Having somewhat more gumption, they do a good job.
    I just wonder how somebody discovered this. Putting a llama in with the sheep is not the first thing that would occur to me.

    Reply
  100. I was delighted to discover in the course of research that llamas are used to guard flocks of sheep from smaller predators. Not wolves, but foxes and wild dogs.
    Apparently the llamas come to feel like on of the flock and defend their flock fellows. Having somewhat more gumption, they do a good job.
    I just wonder how somebody discovered this. Putting a llama in with the sheep is not the first thing that would occur to me.

    Reply
  101. That IS a funny video clip.
    Now I sit here wondering WHY the sheep follow the dog.
    Curiosity?
    The certainty that somebody that enthusiastic will lead them someplace interesting?

    Reply
  102. That IS a funny video clip.
    Now I sit here wondering WHY the sheep follow the dog.
    Curiosity?
    The certainty that somebody that enthusiastic will lead them someplace interesting?

    Reply
  103. That IS a funny video clip.
    Now I sit here wondering WHY the sheep follow the dog.
    Curiosity?
    The certainty that somebody that enthusiastic will lead them someplace interesting?

    Reply
  104. That IS a funny video clip.
    Now I sit here wondering WHY the sheep follow the dog.
    Curiosity?
    The certainty that somebody that enthusiastic will lead them someplace interesting?

    Reply
  105. That IS a funny video clip.
    Now I sit here wondering WHY the sheep follow the dog.
    Curiosity?
    The certainty that somebody that enthusiastic will lead them someplace interesting?

    Reply
  106. Farm animals are (to humans) pretty smelly. I don’t know quite why this would be so, but it is.
    I have not spent enough time in the company of sheep to have a good, accurate sense of how sheep fit into the hierarchy of domestic animals.
    My main encounters are on farms, where the sheep keep a wary distance from me, and at the county fair where — I am being frank here — the pigs seem worse. And the popcorn vendors.

    Reply
  107. Farm animals are (to humans) pretty smelly. I don’t know quite why this would be so, but it is.
    I have not spent enough time in the company of sheep to have a good, accurate sense of how sheep fit into the hierarchy of domestic animals.
    My main encounters are on farms, where the sheep keep a wary distance from me, and at the county fair where — I am being frank here — the pigs seem worse. And the popcorn vendors.

    Reply
  108. Farm animals are (to humans) pretty smelly. I don’t know quite why this would be so, but it is.
    I have not spent enough time in the company of sheep to have a good, accurate sense of how sheep fit into the hierarchy of domestic animals.
    My main encounters are on farms, where the sheep keep a wary distance from me, and at the county fair where — I am being frank here — the pigs seem worse. And the popcorn vendors.

    Reply
  109. Farm animals are (to humans) pretty smelly. I don’t know quite why this would be so, but it is.
    I have not spent enough time in the company of sheep to have a good, accurate sense of how sheep fit into the hierarchy of domestic animals.
    My main encounters are on farms, where the sheep keep a wary distance from me, and at the county fair where — I am being frank here — the pigs seem worse. And the popcorn vendors.

    Reply
  110. Farm animals are (to humans) pretty smelly. I don’t know quite why this would be so, but it is.
    I have not spent enough time in the company of sheep to have a good, accurate sense of how sheep fit into the hierarchy of domestic animals.
    My main encounters are on farms, where the sheep keep a wary distance from me, and at the county fair where — I am being frank here — the pigs seem worse. And the popcorn vendors.

    Reply
  111. Great story well told. Thanks.
    I love wool. I wear it, I knit with it, I sew with it.
    My grandfather and great-grandfather raised sheep in the mountains of No Utah and later in Canada. When my grandfather was a mere 7 years old he was sent out with only a sheepherding dog to herd the sheep for weeks at a time. When he was in his teens, the family emigrated to Alberta, Canada. As a bachelor farmer in his 40s he joined up to fight in WWI. He met my grandmother during his training in Chicago. After the war he moved with her to her hometown in Arizona. But he remembered the value of wool, and passed that on to his children.
    Although I have little interest in raising sheep, I think I have wool in the blood.

    Reply
  112. Great story well told. Thanks.
    I love wool. I wear it, I knit with it, I sew with it.
    My grandfather and great-grandfather raised sheep in the mountains of No Utah and later in Canada. When my grandfather was a mere 7 years old he was sent out with only a sheepherding dog to herd the sheep for weeks at a time. When he was in his teens, the family emigrated to Alberta, Canada. As a bachelor farmer in his 40s he joined up to fight in WWI. He met my grandmother during his training in Chicago. After the war he moved with her to her hometown in Arizona. But he remembered the value of wool, and passed that on to his children.
    Although I have little interest in raising sheep, I think I have wool in the blood.

    Reply
  113. Great story well told. Thanks.
    I love wool. I wear it, I knit with it, I sew with it.
    My grandfather and great-grandfather raised sheep in the mountains of No Utah and later in Canada. When my grandfather was a mere 7 years old he was sent out with only a sheepherding dog to herd the sheep for weeks at a time. When he was in his teens, the family emigrated to Alberta, Canada. As a bachelor farmer in his 40s he joined up to fight in WWI. He met my grandmother during his training in Chicago. After the war he moved with her to her hometown in Arizona. But he remembered the value of wool, and passed that on to his children.
    Although I have little interest in raising sheep, I think I have wool in the blood.

    Reply
  114. Great story well told. Thanks.
    I love wool. I wear it, I knit with it, I sew with it.
    My grandfather and great-grandfather raised sheep in the mountains of No Utah and later in Canada. When my grandfather was a mere 7 years old he was sent out with only a sheepherding dog to herd the sheep for weeks at a time. When he was in his teens, the family emigrated to Alberta, Canada. As a bachelor farmer in his 40s he joined up to fight in WWI. He met my grandmother during his training in Chicago. After the war he moved with her to her hometown in Arizona. But he remembered the value of wool, and passed that on to his children.
    Although I have little interest in raising sheep, I think I have wool in the blood.

    Reply
  115. Great story well told. Thanks.
    I love wool. I wear it, I knit with it, I sew with it.
    My grandfather and great-grandfather raised sheep in the mountains of No Utah and later in Canada. When my grandfather was a mere 7 years old he was sent out with only a sheepherding dog to herd the sheep for weeks at a time. When he was in his teens, the family emigrated to Alberta, Canada. As a bachelor farmer in his 40s he joined up to fight in WWI. He met my grandmother during his training in Chicago. After the war he moved with her to her hometown in Arizona. But he remembered the value of wool, and passed that on to his children.
    Although I have little interest in raising sheep, I think I have wool in the blood.

    Reply
  116. As a knitter I love sheep and their wool, as well as alpaca and other higher end fibers. Fascinating history.
    Oddly enough, in a book I just read “Puritan Adventure” by Lois Lenski, one of the Native American tribes in New England is referred to as the Tarentines.

    Reply
  117. As a knitter I love sheep and their wool, as well as alpaca and other higher end fibers. Fascinating history.
    Oddly enough, in a book I just read “Puritan Adventure” by Lois Lenski, one of the Native American tribes in New England is referred to as the Tarentines.

    Reply
  118. As a knitter I love sheep and their wool, as well as alpaca and other higher end fibers. Fascinating history.
    Oddly enough, in a book I just read “Puritan Adventure” by Lois Lenski, one of the Native American tribes in New England is referred to as the Tarentines.

    Reply
  119. As a knitter I love sheep and their wool, as well as alpaca and other higher end fibers. Fascinating history.
    Oddly enough, in a book I just read “Puritan Adventure” by Lois Lenski, one of the Native American tribes in New England is referred to as the Tarentines.

    Reply
  120. As a knitter I love sheep and their wool, as well as alpaca and other higher end fibers. Fascinating history.
    Oddly enough, in a book I just read “Puritan Adventure” by Lois Lenski, one of the Native American tribes in New England is referred to as the Tarentines.

    Reply
  121. *g* Probably not what they called themselves …
    The Tarantine sheep were named after a city and province in Italy, Taranto. So “Tarantine” might be an approximation of some other word that sounded similar.
    When I get through with the alpaca/wool mix yarn I have, I’ll seek out something else exotic. (exotic to me …)

    Reply
  122. *g* Probably not what they called themselves …
    The Tarantine sheep were named after a city and province in Italy, Taranto. So “Tarantine” might be an approximation of some other word that sounded similar.
    When I get through with the alpaca/wool mix yarn I have, I’ll seek out something else exotic. (exotic to me …)

    Reply
  123. *g* Probably not what they called themselves …
    The Tarantine sheep were named after a city and province in Italy, Taranto. So “Tarantine” might be an approximation of some other word that sounded similar.
    When I get through with the alpaca/wool mix yarn I have, I’ll seek out something else exotic. (exotic to me …)

    Reply
  124. *g* Probably not what they called themselves …
    The Tarantine sheep were named after a city and province in Italy, Taranto. So “Tarantine” might be an approximation of some other word that sounded similar.
    When I get through with the alpaca/wool mix yarn I have, I’ll seek out something else exotic. (exotic to me …)

    Reply
  125. *g* Probably not what they called themselves …
    The Tarantine sheep were named after a city and province in Italy, Taranto. So “Tarantine” might be an approximation of some other word that sounded similar.
    When I get through with the alpaca/wool mix yarn I have, I’ll seek out something else exotic. (exotic to me …)

    Reply
  126. What a fascinating family history. And the story of your father being sent out with the sheep at age 7 is the story of shepherd boys from the dawn of time.
    I wear a thick red-and-black checked wool shirt in the winter to keep warm. There’s nothing like it to keep you going in a mountain winter. The red and black check keeps me getting shot by hunters so it’s a twofer.
    As long as the wool doesn’t touch my skin, it’s perfectly cuddly and fine. I don’t trust any of these synthetic fibers when it gets below freezing.
    Call me old fashioned.
    Wool in the blood.I like that.

    Reply
  127. What a fascinating family history. And the story of your father being sent out with the sheep at age 7 is the story of shepherd boys from the dawn of time.
    I wear a thick red-and-black checked wool shirt in the winter to keep warm. There’s nothing like it to keep you going in a mountain winter. The red and black check keeps me getting shot by hunters so it’s a twofer.
    As long as the wool doesn’t touch my skin, it’s perfectly cuddly and fine. I don’t trust any of these synthetic fibers when it gets below freezing.
    Call me old fashioned.
    Wool in the blood.I like that.

    Reply
  128. What a fascinating family history. And the story of your father being sent out with the sheep at age 7 is the story of shepherd boys from the dawn of time.
    I wear a thick red-and-black checked wool shirt in the winter to keep warm. There’s nothing like it to keep you going in a mountain winter. The red and black check keeps me getting shot by hunters so it’s a twofer.
    As long as the wool doesn’t touch my skin, it’s perfectly cuddly and fine. I don’t trust any of these synthetic fibers when it gets below freezing.
    Call me old fashioned.
    Wool in the blood.I like that.

    Reply
  129. What a fascinating family history. And the story of your father being sent out with the sheep at age 7 is the story of shepherd boys from the dawn of time.
    I wear a thick red-and-black checked wool shirt in the winter to keep warm. There’s nothing like it to keep you going in a mountain winter. The red and black check keeps me getting shot by hunters so it’s a twofer.
    As long as the wool doesn’t touch my skin, it’s perfectly cuddly and fine. I don’t trust any of these synthetic fibers when it gets below freezing.
    Call me old fashioned.
    Wool in the blood.I like that.

    Reply
  130. What a fascinating family history. And the story of your father being sent out with the sheep at age 7 is the story of shepherd boys from the dawn of time.
    I wear a thick red-and-black checked wool shirt in the winter to keep warm. There’s nothing like it to keep you going in a mountain winter. The red and black check keeps me getting shot by hunters so it’s a twofer.
    As long as the wool doesn’t touch my skin, it’s perfectly cuddly and fine. I don’t trust any of these synthetic fibers when it gets below freezing.
    Call me old fashioned.
    Wool in the blood.I like that.

    Reply
  131. I wear wool, but mostly in the form of winter coats.
    I had the opportunity once to see an Australian shepherd dog at work on a farm in Oregon, and they are amazing.

    Reply
  132. I wear wool, but mostly in the form of winter coats.
    I had the opportunity once to see an Australian shepherd dog at work on a farm in Oregon, and they are amazing.

    Reply
  133. I wear wool, but mostly in the form of winter coats.
    I had the opportunity once to see an Australian shepherd dog at work on a farm in Oregon, and they are amazing.

    Reply
  134. I wear wool, but mostly in the form of winter coats.
    I had the opportunity once to see an Australian shepherd dog at work on a farm in Oregon, and they are amazing.

    Reply
  135. I wear wool, but mostly in the form of winter coats.
    I had the opportunity once to see an Australian shepherd dog at work on a farm in Oregon, and they are amazing.

    Reply
  136. Regarding goats and sheep. . . Judas goats in the past to be used by slaughter houses to lead the sheep into the chutes to be slaughtered, but, of course, the goat came out perfectly all right, for the next round, the sheep, not. (There’s probably a moral there.)

    Reply
  137. Regarding goats and sheep. . . Judas goats in the past to be used by slaughter houses to lead the sheep into the chutes to be slaughtered, but, of course, the goat came out perfectly all right, for the next round, the sheep, not. (There’s probably a moral there.)

    Reply
  138. Regarding goats and sheep. . . Judas goats in the past to be used by slaughter houses to lead the sheep into the chutes to be slaughtered, but, of course, the goat came out perfectly all right, for the next round, the sheep, not. (There’s probably a moral there.)

    Reply
  139. Regarding goats and sheep. . . Judas goats in the past to be used by slaughter houses to lead the sheep into the chutes to be slaughtered, but, of course, the goat came out perfectly all right, for the next round, the sheep, not. (There’s probably a moral there.)

    Reply
  140. Regarding goats and sheep. . . Judas goats in the past to be used by slaughter houses to lead the sheep into the chutes to be slaughtered, but, of course, the goat came out perfectly all right, for the next round, the sheep, not. (There’s probably a moral there.)

    Reply
  141. I like goat cheese, too. (I’ve become even more fond of it since being alerted to the fact that I have high blood pressure. Chevre is fairly low sodium compared to many other cheeses.)
    I don’t know the magic of SmartWool socks; I’ll just appreciate them!

    Reply
  142. I like goat cheese, too. (I’ve become even more fond of it since being alerted to the fact that I have high blood pressure. Chevre is fairly low sodium compared to many other cheeses.)
    I don’t know the magic of SmartWool socks; I’ll just appreciate them!

    Reply
  143. I like goat cheese, too. (I’ve become even more fond of it since being alerted to the fact that I have high blood pressure. Chevre is fairly low sodium compared to many other cheeses.)
    I don’t know the magic of SmartWool socks; I’ll just appreciate them!

    Reply
  144. I like goat cheese, too. (I’ve become even more fond of it since being alerted to the fact that I have high blood pressure. Chevre is fairly low sodium compared to many other cheeses.)
    I don’t know the magic of SmartWool socks; I’ll just appreciate them!

    Reply
  145. I like goat cheese, too. (I’ve become even more fond of it since being alerted to the fact that I have high blood pressure. Chevre is fairly low sodium compared to many other cheeses.)
    I don’t know the magic of SmartWool socks; I’ll just appreciate them!

    Reply
  146. I love alpaca and found alpaca socks that were so wonderful I immediately went out and purchased a pair of each of my children and their significant others. Some of the fellas – the mutant ones with naturally warm feet – happily shared their socks with their girls which, it was hinted at, garnered them many benefits in return, the particulars of which mothers may not wish to know the details of.
    Buffalo wool sounds incredibly interesting and I would love to find where to buy it. In the meantime, I work with a silk/alpaca blend to knit a lacy shawl that is lighter than air!
    And, btw – I love your books and will always remember the breakfast we shared at RWA2017 in Orlando. I hope to have the pleasure of breaking bread with you again sometime.

    Reply
  147. I love alpaca and found alpaca socks that were so wonderful I immediately went out and purchased a pair of each of my children and their significant others. Some of the fellas – the mutant ones with naturally warm feet – happily shared their socks with their girls which, it was hinted at, garnered them many benefits in return, the particulars of which mothers may not wish to know the details of.
    Buffalo wool sounds incredibly interesting and I would love to find where to buy it. In the meantime, I work with a silk/alpaca blend to knit a lacy shawl that is lighter than air!
    And, btw – I love your books and will always remember the breakfast we shared at RWA2017 in Orlando. I hope to have the pleasure of breaking bread with you again sometime.

    Reply
  148. I love alpaca and found alpaca socks that were so wonderful I immediately went out and purchased a pair of each of my children and their significant others. Some of the fellas – the mutant ones with naturally warm feet – happily shared their socks with their girls which, it was hinted at, garnered them many benefits in return, the particulars of which mothers may not wish to know the details of.
    Buffalo wool sounds incredibly interesting and I would love to find where to buy it. In the meantime, I work with a silk/alpaca blend to knit a lacy shawl that is lighter than air!
    And, btw – I love your books and will always remember the breakfast we shared at RWA2017 in Orlando. I hope to have the pleasure of breaking bread with you again sometime.

    Reply
  149. I love alpaca and found alpaca socks that were so wonderful I immediately went out and purchased a pair of each of my children and their significant others. Some of the fellas – the mutant ones with naturally warm feet – happily shared their socks with their girls which, it was hinted at, garnered them many benefits in return, the particulars of which mothers may not wish to know the details of.
    Buffalo wool sounds incredibly interesting and I would love to find where to buy it. In the meantime, I work with a silk/alpaca blend to knit a lacy shawl that is lighter than air!
    And, btw – I love your books and will always remember the breakfast we shared at RWA2017 in Orlando. I hope to have the pleasure of breaking bread with you again sometime.

    Reply
  150. I love alpaca and found alpaca socks that were so wonderful I immediately went out and purchased a pair of each of my children and their significant others. Some of the fellas – the mutant ones with naturally warm feet – happily shared their socks with their girls which, it was hinted at, garnered them many benefits in return, the particulars of which mothers may not wish to know the details of.
    Buffalo wool sounds incredibly interesting and I would love to find where to buy it. In the meantime, I work with a silk/alpaca blend to knit a lacy shawl that is lighter than air!
    And, btw – I love your books and will always remember the breakfast we shared at RWA2017 in Orlando. I hope to have the pleasure of breaking bread with you again sometime.

    Reply
  151. (jo waves)
    I had such a good time in Orlando. Thanks so much for the kind words about the books.
    I will be on the lookout for alpaca/silk yarn. I have some alpaca/wool blend I have to use up first and then I will seriously buy some of that lighter than air stuff ….

    Reply
  152. (jo waves)
    I had such a good time in Orlando. Thanks so much for the kind words about the books.
    I will be on the lookout for alpaca/silk yarn. I have some alpaca/wool blend I have to use up first and then I will seriously buy some of that lighter than air stuff ….

    Reply
  153. (jo waves)
    I had such a good time in Orlando. Thanks so much for the kind words about the books.
    I will be on the lookout for alpaca/silk yarn. I have some alpaca/wool blend I have to use up first and then I will seriously buy some of that lighter than air stuff ….

    Reply
  154. (jo waves)
    I had such a good time in Orlando. Thanks so much for the kind words about the books.
    I will be on the lookout for alpaca/silk yarn. I have some alpaca/wool blend I have to use up first and then I will seriously buy some of that lighter than air stuff ….

    Reply
  155. (jo waves)
    I had such a good time in Orlando. Thanks so much for the kind words about the books.
    I will be on the lookout for alpaca/silk yarn. I have some alpaca/wool blend I have to use up first and then I will seriously buy some of that lighter than air stuff ….

    Reply

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