Consummate shepherd Dave Martin raises Cheviot, Montadale and Cheviot x Montadale crosses in the rolling hills of Underhill. Persistence and practicality characterize his work as a shepherd and as president of the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association.

The Sheep

Cheviots and Montadales are practical sheep for a practical shepherd. Montadales are a tall whitefaced meat breed with pretty, crisp white wool. Cheviots are similar, but smaller in stature and thicker in set. Montadales grow larger, but need more feed. Cheviots are thriftier but smaller overall. In aiming for a perfect medium meat breed, Dave may have unlocked the perfect Vermont crossbred.

Sorting

Dave has been managing his wool thoughtfully for a while, and it shows. The wool I found was clean and purely delightful. Free of major faults, I could just breeze through, sorting out stray second cuts and britch wool. Nothing gives me more pleasure than enjoying nice wool and knowing it’s going to a perfect use!

The Yarn

I thought long and hard about how to use such a versatile wool as Cheviot/Montadale. The crisp springiness and the softness would be suitable for virtually anything. I talked to Mary Jeanne Packer at Battenkill Fibers, and her thought was to use this for a nice sock yarn. Great idea! THis wool is strong enough for rugged socks without being itchy. Settlement Sock is a 3ply light fingering with 25% nylon content.


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