Monday, November 19, 2007

BaaBaa Black Sheep

It must sometimes not take too much to make me want to dance a happy jig. Last August, at the County Fair, I bought some wool to spin or felt. One of the bags is in the photo above. A deep black (lower left corner) wool from Our Lady Of the Rock Monastery. A friend and I split this bag. Additionally, I bought a bag of lovely brown wool from the same monastery as well as a fleece right "off the hoof" - from a shearing demonstration that was given. I thought it would be fun to make something from this lanolin rich wool for next year's fair.

The question was - how in the heck to get this stuff cleaned enough to spin or felt - especially the "off the hoof" fleece that was laden with more than lanolin! I knew that I did not have the knowledge or the space to really do a decent cleaning job myself, nor for that matter, did I have the desire! Luckily, I discovered a great place to do the job - in one of my favorite states too - Montana. It's called Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool. In September I shipped off the wools - stuffed rather indiscriminately into a smallish square box. Last Thursday I got it all back in a BIG box. WOW! Is it beautiful! I was - and still am - astounded at both the quantity & the quality of the wool. A whole different appearance from the outbound stuff ! Thirteen Mile did a wonderful job of cleaning and carding & the wools are now gently made up into beautiful roving ready for spinning or felting. What I was especially surprised at was the quantity. I thought I would lose far more in the cleaning and carding process than I did. I ended up with a bit over twelve pounds (5.44 kg) of beautiful, usable roving. The softness and warm smell of this stuff makes me almost giddy ! As I said, simple pleasures for simple minds I guess !!


jenclair said...

This process fascinates me! I'd love to be able to watch--from shearing to spinning--the entire process. The wools look so soft and lovely!

MS said...

I took the "accelenet" feature off my computer this AM in order to fully view the photos on your blog. (In theory, this feature speeds up my slow dial-up, but the payback is blurry visuals.) Anyway, your photos and commentary were wonderful.... so YOU, my dear...At the moment, P is outside in a bathrobe running through the rain to chase the six little pigs that wandered in to the yard. Maybe I won't tell him they're the same six I've been watching since the summer, when they were apparently born up near the barn. So cute, but they do make a mess, with their "roto-tilling". PS. The dogs slept right through this visit. P had to wake them up to come join the chase.

Lynn Douglass said...

Hey Marie! Love the new roving, and I can't wait to see what you create with it! I scrolled through your blog and love the felting projects you're doing. It's something I've recently been attracted to, but haven't done anything yet. You just might get me to get on with it! Wish I was part of your sewing group. That view is amazing!

sandra wyman said...

Wish I had somebody local who could wash fleeces - bought three Wensleydale fleeces a while back and had such a difficult job washing the first that I never got round to the others - not a good way of saving money I think (Wensleydale is a local sheep here with a remarkably long staple and very curly fleece - don't think they grow it much outside Yorkshire!)

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