I have exciting news…last month, we welcomed more Corriedale sheep to the Bear Creek Ranch! This is a wonderful, docile breed, originally developed in New Zealand, that we’ll love to join our flock.
I’m endlessly fascinated by the sheer variety (pun intended!) of sheep in the world. Each breed’s wool has different characteristics, and I’m learning so much about how each type works for needle felting.
Corriedale sheep have an amazingly dense yet medium-fine wool (only 25-30 microns) that has a nice luster. Their fleece has a staple length of 3.5 to 6 inches and it comes off easily. Hand-spinners love Corriedale wool for all those reasons as it makes fantastic yarn! (We have Corriedale roving available for purchase.) Corriedales are the result of cross-breeding Lincolns and Merinos. and they were the first breed created entirely in New Zealand, more than 100 years ago.
I documented my first needle-felting experiments with Corriedale wool back in 2016. As I wrote then, Corriedale wool felts well. It becomes nice and firm, although I did find that the smooth fiber made the process take longer.
We’re thrilled to add more Corriedale sheep to our flock because not only are they quite sweet and gentle, but they also produce lots of fleece. A grown ewe offers up to 20 pounds at each shearing! And these fluffy moms often give birth to multiple lambs, so we’re expecting some absolutely adorable sights come lambing season.
There’s just much to learn about all the amazing breeds of sheep. As a needle felter, I of course am eager to test out all the different types of wool! Some varieties work better for different projects. My go-to is Romney wool, but now, we’ll have lots of Corriedale wool on hand.
The more I learn, the better I can teach people which wool is best for needle felting. If you’d like to start learning this unique craft — or if you’re hoping to improve or try new wool types, please do join my Needle Felting Academy.