We have a neighbor who owns a farm he runs with his family miles away, even though he lives across the street from us (long story). Last fall, we learned that his mother had been gifted a few sheep. They didn’t bother shearing them last year but planned to do it in 2015. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do with the wool though. Papa, bless his heart told him where he could drop it off 🙂 We asked for roughly 9 lbs, which I believe is around one fleece, but I’m not sure. I was told by some “experts” (Ravelry friends) that is about all I’d want in a year, especially as a beginner who has a life outside of fiber-processing.
Given that these were sheep that had at least two years of growth and were not very clean, this is how the wool came to us. My original plan was to try and completely process the wool from beginning to end – from the raw fleece to spinning the yarn. It didn’t take long before we realized how impractical that would be given that we don’t have a way to card the wool, and I’ve never tried spinning before.
Still, Papa set to the task of cleaning the wool a bit. He basically just rinsed it in cool water and pull out the really matted and disgusting bits. We later realized even this step was rather unnecessary. I’m sure fiber mills often seen wool as dirty as ours was.
Still, it gave me confidence that washing the wool wouldn’t be difficult if we ever decided to give this a go again in the future. On Wednesday, Papa and Little Chick took our better-looking wool up to a local fiber mill and got a tour of their process. I’m jealous. That would have been neat to see. Maybe I can finagle a trip there myself when it’s ready. We’re having them do the whole works – from cleaning, picking, carding, etc., and finishing up with spinning into yarn. I’m thinking we can still have some fun with dyeing techniques.
Our neighbor is a river-barge captain. What do you think about a hat as payment for our fiber?
We have a new addition in our household too. On Friday, Papa went over to church to drop off baked goods for their annual rummage sale the following day. When he got home, he mentioned that I might want to get over there right away in the morning as they had a full-sized mannequin for sale. I had been looking for a head to make it easier to photograph all the hats I love to make, but if I could snag a full mannequin, that would be even better!
This is just how much Papa loves me… HE braved the crowds at 7 am Saturday morning to purchase that mannequin! He was just in time too – he paid for it and already there were a couple of other interested parties. He came home looking a bit frazzled and likened the experience to Black Friday shopping.
After several naming attempts (many nixed by me), we finally arrived at “Dena”. She sat in our living room the rest of Saturday but has been moved now to the craft room. Thankfully. She freaked me out several times as I thought there was someone in our house! LOL
The dress is one that I wore to my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary, back when Papa and I were still dating. He loves that dress and hasn’t allowed me to get rid of it. He’s sort of hoping someday I might fit into it again. I think it’s more likely that Little Chick will wear it. Meanwhile, it looks pretty good on Dena.