This is the first weekend in a long time we don`t have any visitors or birthday party planed, so I made big plans for myself. From working in my garden, to working on the 2nd half of my raw wool I was storing in shed for almost a year. I have also put my boyfriend in charge of the kid for the weekend… Well, you can imagine how disappointed I was, when I woke up this morning to a grey and rainy day.
Instead of doing all kinds of fun stuff in the garden, I ended up doing the usual boring household chores….
At noon, after I’ve put the toddler for his nap, I took a break from boring tasks and decided to continue working on the frustrating shawl for my mother in law. I just finished 2nd row, when to my surprise the sun came out. I knew this was my chance to do at least some of the things I planed to do today..
Earlier this week I got inspired by a blog I follow: https://lisaswoollytreasures.wordpress.com and countless youtube videos I watched, that led me to this blog: https://knittingthestash.wordpress.com
and last Tuesday, I started to work on the raw fleece, I still had in my shed. It is a wool from a generic sheep, that I got from a local petting farm. The sheep were not raised specifically for their wool, so it was quite dirty. I gave it a 24 hours soak in cold water. I`m not allowed to bring dirty raw wool into the house, so I did it out in the garden in a big plastic container.
It was around freezing point that night, and I was worried that would harm the wool, but luckily the light frost didn`t seem to do any damage.
The day after I gave the wool a hot soapy bath. Im not really confident about pouring all the lanolin down the house drain, so I did it again outside in the big container, that I used for the soak. It was rather annoying bringing all the hot water outside in pots, so after the dirty soapy water drained from the wool, I have moved it to the bathroom, where I gave it 2 rinses. This was on Wendesday, and the wool was drying in the attic since then.
The wool looked quite clean, but it still had some light dirt and lots of vegetable matter (VM) in it, and as soon as the sun came up today, I brought all the wool outside and started sorting it.
I do not have a skirting table, but I had a wire rack, that I bought some time ago to build a trellis for my vine. I`ve put it on top of few garden chairs and used that to lay out my wool on it.
During the initial skirting, I don`t think I did a very good job. I only removed the yucky stuff, that I wouldn`t touch without the gloves, but I left most of the spots that had lots of tiny pieces of VM in it. After watching lots of youtube instructions on skirting, I now know those are the parts most people remove as well….
Today I wanted to separate and sort the locks, but after some time, the wind started to blow and the locks were flying all around the garden. So in the end, I only sorted the wool into parts with very little VM and the one with lots of VM.
Considering the conditions the sheep were living in and the place where they were sheared (I actually saw the fleece i got being shorn of the sheep), only small part of the wool had lots of VM in it (the wool in red bag). I was very pleased with that….
Unfortunatelly I didn`t do as much as I was hoping to do today, but at least the wool is nicely sorted. And now that it was cleaned a bit, it cannot be called raw wool, and I can bypass my boyfriend`s rule, and can work on separating the locks indoors, up in the attic.
Im new to the wool processing and this was my first raw fleece, but overall I enjoyed the process more than I thought I would. I decided to get another fleece from the same place next month, during their sheep shearing festival. This time I`ll most probably get a brown one 🙂