I've always loved the look of Jacob sheep. Nothing commands attention like all those horns. Oh, and the spots....so often with sheep you have spots but you don't really see all of them all the time. With CVMs, when you shear, all those spots, speckles & stripes are right there in your face. As the fleece grows out, you lose them in the lock compression, sun bleaching, and dirt that can cling to an uncoated fleece. Not with Jacobs. Those spots are shining all the time. Knowing that when you plan a project you have a good sized amount of white, black & gray all out of one fleece is quite seductive for a spinner. You can't help but look at those sheep and envision a multi-color yarn, or a barber pole, an entrelac design or contrasting cuffs or splashes of color.
As you may or may not be aware, Little Barn used to be a custom processing company. Long time, long, long time ago. We had a customer who brought her Jacob wool every year to be carded and then she paid Mrs. LB to spin it for her. After 5 or 6 years, I used to imagine that her entire extended family had Jacob throws, scarves & hats. The Mrs. used to always say that Jacobs were some "dirty little spuds" and that through all the years of carding she had never met one that didn't like to roll in the dirt. Kind of like black alpacas.....if you know what I mean. It has been interesting over the years to see Jacob flocks that remain smaller in build and more primitive in their fleece and by that I mean shorter in overall staple and the white portions being longer than the black. However, there are also flocks out there that have been selected for a larger build and a longer, finer more homogeneous staple. Whether they have been upgraded or not I don't know but it definitely offers the spinner a wide range when shopping for Jacob wool.
We were lucky this year and picked up a couple of Jacob fleeces to process. The sliver is soft and lofty, multi-colored in shades of white, black & grey with some vegetable matter present.