Annnnddd the Norse breeds have arrived 🙂 I won’t have the chance to wash the fleeces tonight (maybe tomorrow…or at the worst, Monday or Wednesday), but I can compile all the data I’ve found and translated on these three breeds so that a.) I can remember it and b.) you guys can have some basic knowledge of these three without having to trawl through Norwegian blog posts 😉 Translating gets a little tiresome; Google Translate is surprisingly good at Norwegian, but I’m just going to let you know right now that I’m editing all the translations for grammar, so they may not be 100% accurate to the original text, m’kay? (I’m also including the Spinning Loft notes for basic reference.)
Let us begin ❤
Fleecydex # 104
“A Norwegian Landrace breed related to the Icelandic, this is a dual coated fleece with a very long outer coat and a long and downy undercoat. Easily separated I found the two coats a bit softer than many Icelandics I’ve sampled. Additionally, the two coats were different colors.
Average staples 8.5″ (outer) and 2.5″ (inner)”
“Both rams and ewes can be horns or poll . The ram must have horned tips pointing outwards and there should be good width between the tips. Horns should have a distinct triangular shape. They should not be deformed or otherwise bad.They should also have short tails which should not exceed 13 cm measured on the underside. They shall have a crown cap , small ears and lively eyes.
All variations in the animals’ color (black, gray, blue , brown , light brown, white, white markings on the head and body ) are to be safeguarded in the population. The rare and old color pattern Grelet and the wild color should be preserved .
There must be a clear difference between undercoat wool and coarse outer . Bottom Ulla should be about one-third as long as the outer wool . The length of the wool must be at least 17 cm above the junction and elsewhere over 20 cm . Ulla should have good shine and should not felt.
The ancient genes that characterize the breed are desired, preserved, and emphasized. Gammalnorsk spælsau is a good-natured , intelligent breed that has a distinctly good maternal instinct , little lamb difficulties and good milking ability. The breed has a well- developed herd instinct, is hardy, agile and quick .”~Race Standard on Gammelnorsk Spelsau Official Website
Norsk Pellsau (alternate spelling ‘pelssau’)
“A Norwegian landrace breed related to Gotland, this fleece is silky and shiny when clean. It’s greasy and grey in the grease, hiding a really lovely lock with amazing crimp pattern and texture. Shipped to me from a shepherd in Norway.
Average staple 4”
“The breed was officially recognized in 1968 and was originally the result of interbreeding between the Gotland and the grey-bluevariation of short-tailed Spelsau sheep in the early 1960s.
…that’s all I could find on that one, although it is in the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook…I’ll look it up later and see if the info I found is accurate or not.
Fleecydex #???…it’s not on my list; I’ll add it on to my Part B list, I guess.
ETA: Just realized it’s already on my B-List under the name ‘Grey Troender’. So Fleecydex-B #19.
“A rare Norwegian breed from Trondheim, Gra Trondersau is soft, silky, crimpy and lofty. A dense fleece with great locks. Some weathered tips, and some minor VM with evidence of the rise typical of more primitive breeds. Very nice crimp. A very pretty fleece.
Ave staple 5.5”
“Traditional stories say that the breed originated as a result of interbreeding between the tautersau (?) and the old Norwegian spælsau at the Trondheim Fjord. Probably has tailed sheep of imported origin crossed into it . Grey Trønder was established as race around 1930. An organized breeding program was started after World War II . In the 1950s there was a separate breed Breeding Centre at Ingstadnes in Stjørdal . The sheep were rated as attractive as both fur manufacturers and producers of natural colored wool. In a time of rationing dye, it was important to have sheep that produced colored wool. When the rationing of dye was completed , the interest in the breed did as well. Some sheep holders still continued to have some Grey Tronder for the nice colored wool .
The breed was believed extinct, but a few surviving animals were found in Telemark in 1992. It was established as a conservation herd of the breed there, and since then there has also been a conservation herd established in southern Norway . Since 1992 there has been surveyed several smaller herds in Norway , as well as a larger crew of in Møre and Romsdal. The breed is growing, but is still considered threatened.”
~Breed History from Official Trondersau Website
“The gray trønder sheep is one of the Norwegian animal breeds that are endangered or threatened. We have a neighbor who has a small flock. They have a nice, soft wool of the merino type that felts easily. Garments of this wool are warm, soft and comfy.”
~Blog post (with cute pictures 😉
Finally, if you want to look at some wicked cute pictures of Trondersau, check out these! There by a journalist/photographer from Norway, and they’re just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to his work 😉 Seriously. Check out his photos.
The next time I post, these fleeces will be washed :3