As I mentioned in the previous post Cheviot sheep are divided four different cheviot breeds. I thought maybe I would investigate this further.
South Country Cheviot (Border Cheviot) are thought to be descended from sheep on a Spanish armada ship that wrecked off the English coast around 1588. These escaped sheep migrated to the Cheviot Hills. They are around 130-200 pds at full growth which makes them a good pasture sheep(not needing grain supplement). Fleece weight runs from 5-14 pds and the staple length is form 4-5 inches. The micron counts from 27-33.
The north country cheviot come from northern Scotland and then Canada in the1940′s. The fleece weight is about 5-10 pds and the micron count is often between 27-30 but can range from 27-33.
Brecknock Hills cheviot was created by mixing native sheep with border cheviots a dash of leicester was added later. There seems to be some controversy about this sheep and how it is in the cheviot family as some consider it a welsh mountain sheep. However the knitty gritty is that the standards and fiber can be a bit different. They are smaller than other cheviots almost miniature size by my reading (most are about 23 inches). The wool is a bit finer and can be a bit kempy and hairy although this is discouraged. There is a full range of colors.
American miniature cheviots according to the breed standards are a maximum 23 inches tall. Ewes weigh from 45-85 pds and rams weigh in from 55-100 pds. The fleece is 3-7 inches in staple and wights up to 8 pds and can be multicolored or other colors like black, tan etc. They call these painted sheep ( i love that “painted sheep” what great terminology).
All of the wool from the different breeds is low luster and takes color beautifully. It is described a chalky meaning it doesn’t have luster like the longwools do. I also noticed while I was playing with my fiber that it had a few dark hairs in it. Maybe I got the Brecknock Hill Cheviot fleece:) Over all the crimp was crazy going in all directions which was really noticeable after I dyed it. Pictures to come on friday as lighting is really bad today.