This is one of the breeds most popular with hand spinners, and for good reason. It’s lustrous, hardwearing, strong, and elastic, making it a perennial favorite for socks, mittens, hats, and even sweaters. Spun fine and with slightly less twist, it lends itself to soft, shiny lace with both drape and enough elasticity to recover from the occasional snag. This breed was developed in the early part of the 20th century out of the older 18th century Dishley Leicester. Local Hexham farmers in northernmost England started selecting for blue faces. Today it grows highly valuable wool and is also widely used in England in the production of mules or crossbreeds for the production of meat.