Greetings from Jacob’s Fleece! Jan Gillander’s flock is primarily made up of Jacob Sheep, a unique breed known for its black and white spots and for its multiple horns. Jan sells roving and yarn that she has hand-spun from her own wool. It comes in a variety of natural colors (just like her sheep). She also has created her own line of unique knitted and felted purses.
As my flock of Jacob’s Sheep has grown,
so has my passion for spinning, knitting & felting.
May you find as much joy in owning any of my products
as I had in their creation. — Jan
About the Breed
The Jacob is a small to medium breed. Adult ewes range from 80 to 120 pounds and rams ranging from 120 to 180 pounds.
Coloring is basically white with black or lilac spots randomly distributed on the body. At least 15% of each color must be present.
Jacobs produce 2,4 or 6 horns in both ewes and rams. Ram horns can reach 30″ in length.
The fleeces from Jacobs are a delight for hand spinners and for the connoisseur of natural color. They are light and open, weighing between 3 & 6 pounds and having staple length of 4 to 7 inches. They part easily, exposing a soft, medium wool with healthy luster and sheen. Due to the spotting of these animals, the wool can be spun into a complete spectrum from white through gray/lilac to black. Jacob sheep are a very ancient breed that probably originated in Syria some 3000 years ago.
Pictorial evidence traces the breed’s movement through North Africa, Sicily, Spain, and on to England. By 1970 Jacob sheep were so rare in England that the Jacob Sheep Society was formed to help preserve them. Due largely to their efforts Jacob sheep numbers have increased dramatically in Great Britain. Jacob sheep were imported into the U.S. for game parks and zoos in the early 1900’s. In 1988 the Jacob Sheep Breeders Assoc. (JSBA) was formed in the USA to ensure the conservation of the breed. This is done through inspections, registration and education. Additional imports from Britain in the 1950″s and 1960’s enhanced the genetic pool. At the time the breed was dwindling. Active preservation efforts saved what was left of the breed and established a healthy genetic pool, which assures the breed’s survival.
These handsome and hardy sheep are ideal for small flock owners as well as large breeders. They are small and efficient, allowing more sheep per acre. They are easily handled, rarely need veterinarian care, and show a greater resistance to foot related problems and internal parasites. Ewes lamb easily, usually twins and are up and nursing quickly. The produce a lean, flavorful carcass with beautifully unique pelts. Tanned hides and horn buttons are additional products of these wonderful little guys. With “goat like” personalities they are very smart, curious and tend to tame down fairly easily.