These lovely sheep (and one additional blackfaced sheep, who was not interested in posing for the photo) were delivered today!
The blackfaced sheep are Hampshires, and the white one is a Columbia. They are both breeds that originated in England, and are not too far removed from the Southdown sheep (Jack, our smaller ram and father of all of last year's lambs, is a Southdown). Although these breeds are not primarily known for their wool, they do produce nice fleece that makes excellent hats and mitts and quilt batting. Combined with the finer Icelandic wool, we are on our way to developing a really interesting handspinner's flock.
In addition, these three sheep are already proven mamas who produce good sturdy lambs, and so they should be good additions to our little flock. Here, everyone needs to produce good fibre to sustain my ever-expanding addiction to spinning, knitting and all things wooly, but good meat lambs are also essential from a financial standpoint: I hope to be able to earn enough money from lamb sales to at least pay for the winter hay!