Sunday, May 27, 2007

From sheep to...

Who knows - we may have enough fiber here for a sweater. The sheep belongs to Debbie, who lives on Prince Edward Island. She used to live locally, but moved up there when her husband retired. She's done my hair for several years, and comes back regularly to take care of clients. Since this past Friday was the Senior Prom, she was back to do updos for her girls (DD included; she was gorgeous). She's quite aware of my fiber obsession, and that DH spins, so she brought us a fleece to work on. It turns out that the sheep is a Shetland, and is black, so we have the potential for some amazing yarn.

The process of getting from sheep to yarn is somewhat daunting. Sheep are not clean. We started by putting the fleece in our spa tub, and yes, it is the first time it's been used by us. We put an old sheet in first to keep stuff from going down the drain. One alternative was to use the washing machine; based on the VM and questionable other things in the fleece, I'd rather not have that pollute the washer.
Fleece soaking in the tub
We put the fleece through several soak and rinse cycles. This morning I took a large bowlful outside and arranged a cleaning procession. One bowl with Eucalan, and three for rinsing. That large bowlful occupies my two sweater drying screens.Drying fleece on sweater racks
DH took care of the rest in the tub - about three additional soak cycles. That fleece is drying on the two sheets. Drying fleece on a sheet
We picked out a lot of VM, but there is still a fair amount of stuff stuck to the fleece. A friend from work has a drum carder; time to beg and plead to borrow it.

DH and I are finding this all pretty humourous - it is very typical for us to try something to "see what happens". We've learned with this one - the next one is going out for processing.


Blogger Karen said...

Wow, look at all that fleece!! That is quite an undertaking, isn't it? I find it very interesting to see the whole process though. I can't wait to see what is next.

5:25 AM  
Blogger silverarrowknits said...

I am sure this is all a ton of work, but it does look like fun! I love the fact that you are using the spa for the fleece. Only a knitter would think of alternative uses for the spa!

9:16 PM  
Blogger somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Very smart not to wash the fleece in the washing machine. Dumb me followed the words from a spinning magazine and washed a large fleece in the washer. BAD IDEA!

3:49 PM  

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