Yarn from the beginning- Post #1.

13 Jul

Though I didn’t raise the sheep, I’m starting pretty much at the very beginning.

Long story short:
My friend went to a winery with her husband, the owners raise sheep “just because” and just GIVE AWAY the fleece. She mentioned she likes to knit and poof! They hand her a bag of raw wool, she accepted it gratefully, telling me later her first thought was “oh, Ashley will be able to figure this out.” Of course. I mean, I am the google queen…


When I say raw wool, I mean it. It was literally, shaved off the sheep and stuffed in a bag. It smelled. There was poop. There was (is) dirt and debris. I’m on my third soaking and the water is still muddy. I’ve followed the basics that I found online, I’ve been soaking, then rinsing, soaking and rinsing aggitating it a bit here and there. I finally pulled off a smaller more manageable piece to get it clean, and that piece cleaned up rather quickly, so I have hopes for the rest of it. It was a large bag. 🙂

Tomorrow… I pick up the cards so after the mess is clean and dry I can start carding and spinning. I’m reasonably comfortable with my top whorl drop spindle, and hubby seems to think we can rig up a kick spindle which makes me super happy, probably working off THESE instructions. It’s a lot of work, but so far, even though it’s still messy… I find it very gratifying. I’m very excited to have this project, and will be very excited to knit with yarn I’ve created from such a raw state!

Bag of fleece- see all the debris and dirt?

First soaking… ew, the water is just gross at this point!

Drying a bit of “clean” fleece… The lanolin content is AMAZING. Still full of debris, but much cleaner… 



2 Responses to “Yarn from the beginning- Post #1.”

  1. caityrosey July 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    It’s sort of amazing to me that all one can do to clean it is to soak it. And soak it. And soak it some more.

    At least your hands will be nice and soft from the lanolin after this.

    • goodwifegoodmama July 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

      Yeah…and swish it around. lol. There might be more I can do, but I’m not sure. I read that you can use a washing machine, but I have a front loader so I don’t want to mess too much with it. I’ve been using gloves so far, but I’m sure the lanolin will be great when I’m spinning. 🙂

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