Know a Blue Hen who’s earning a sheepskin? Or need a gift for someone that’s distinctly Delaware. Think about a blanket made from the wool of University of Delaware sheep.
Blue Hen Blankets and Yarn, established in 2009, creates blankets and yarn, made from wool shorn from UD’s flock of Dorset sheep at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“Blue Hen Blankets make the perfect gift for graduation, special occasions of UD alumni and friends, or keeping warm during a Fightin’ Blue Hens football game,” says Tom Sims, CANR deputy dean.
Two blankets sizes are available: lap throws and queen-sized blankets. The un-dyed natural wool blankets are edged with blue in true UD spirit. Each blanket is labeled with an individual serial number. Profits from the sale of Blue Hen Blankets and Yarn help to support the undergraduate large animal teaching programs of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
The wool provided to the mill in 2010 produced 200 lap throws and 25 queen blankets. Once these are sold, customers will have to wait until a future production date (yet to be determined).
Customers can request a specific serial number from the stock (subject to availability) for a surcharge of $10 per item.
Customers who are not able to visit the Creamery and wish to buy a blanket, can complete a Blue Hen Blankets order form (PDF). Further instructions are given on the form.
A limited number of throws and blankets with prime serial numbers (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 11) have been reserved for an auction to occur later this year. Prices may vary.
UD Dorset ewes are shorn each spring before going out to summer pasture. Each ewe produces about seven to eight pounds of wool. The wool is scoured (washed) and carded (combed) and can then be spun into yarn and woven into blankets.
The lap throws each require four pounds of wool and the queen-sized blankets each require 12 pounds of wool. Wool is a natural, sustainable fiber that is strong and durable, lightweight and breathable, but warm enough for the chilliest of days. A truly renewable resource, wool is the only fiber that is naturally fire-resistant.
For more information, visit the Blue Hen Blankets and Yarn website.