Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I smell like a sheep!

I decided that since I am on vacation I would let myself be really crafty. A few months ago I was given a fleece. I'm not sure if I blogged about it or not but a friend gave it to me. It is a whole fleece straight from the sheep. I don't know why he had it for me but he told me that if I didn't take it then it would just be thrown out. What would any fibre loving human being do I ask.....

Of course I took it. Did I know anything about taking raw fleece and preparing it to spin? NO! But I could not bear to throw it out when I love a new fibre learning experience. I had no idea what I was getting into.
Before you take a project like this on for yourself .... let me give you an insight as to what you would be getting into.

Here is the fleece as I received it. In a big old black garbage bag. It was oily but all it all it was wool and it was free.

And here it is out of the bag and spread out on the grass.

I spent the day outside picking the big pieces of stuff out so I could wash the fleece. You name it and it was there. Grass, hay, burrs, bugs and...poop.
I would put sections of it at a time into some hot soapy water to soak and clean. This was really amazing to me! The first bit that I submerged into the water not knowing just how this would work. It does it all by itself. The water becomes instantly murky with the oily dirty stuff.
This is the colour of the fleece before I put it in the dish soap and water.

And here it is after it has been washed and my first try at carding.
Amazing! This sheep was pretty close to white!

I layed out the washed fleece on my clothes horse to dry in the sun and got into some dying today as well. (I know I'm a busy bee) and then I noticed I had a friend watching.

So I watched her back. All I could think of was the Yarn Harlot's thieving squirrel. Was this duck looking to line her nest with my hard work? She left without touching the fruits of my labour but we were staring each other down for a while. The duck was not at all scared of me. I was walking around the back yard and she was eating the bird seed that had fallen on the ground. If I stopped moving she would start to come closer to me. Or was it just the fibre?

All in all I had a fun and productive day. My hands are very soar though. I'm not sure if it is from dipping them in and out of hot water all day (like doing hundreds of dishes) or the little bit of carding that I did, or a combination.


Andrea said...

Very impressive. My aunt brought me a ton of roving that she cleaned and carded. She did all the hard stuff for me! Lots of work.

Sandra said...

I couldn't have let the fleece be thrown out either. But I'm not sure I could have picked, washed and carded it either. Lovely stuff!

Renee said...

That is very cool. I'm amazed at how white is was under all the yuck!