As if the old projects ever got finished… just sayin’. I set out to do whatever I could on the old “clean the garage” project this morning. Looking at the things piled in the middle of the floor and narrowing my focus to things that only pertained to me, I came to a bag of wool. It was sheared off what could easily be the dirtiest sheep on the earth, and it was mine because of my curiousity about fibers, textiles and do-it-yourself crafts. What would it be like to make your own wool yarn straight from the sheep? Courtesy of Dr. Julia’s flock, I have opportunity to find out.
Clearly, the first task has to be to get it cleaned up. This wool is strangely oiled, lanolin I guess. Just pulling it out of the bag my hands were oily, and oh the wonderful smells of the farm… animal, pasture, poop. It was all there. I had read a little about this process online so I was smart enough not to just dump it all in the washing machine – thank God. I tested a few handfuls in some hot water with laundry soap and just gently swished it around. It does get clean, and I am encouraged by that to continue.
I think I need some tools though. Using what I have (cat brushes mostly) I am combing through, straightening out the mats so more debris can get loose and be removed. I have a growing pile of whitish fluffy wool. I’m thinking of looking for special carding combs to see if it speeds up the process. Meanwhile I still have a lot of washing to do.
|The dirty pile on the right is Sheepy’s winter coat and a good deal of his bedding and manure.|
|This little pile on the left is the result of the first washing and combing in process|