Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yessir, yessir, three bags full

I finally washed my fleeces (fleeci?) this week. I broke down and did it in the washing machine because I hadn't come up with a better plan, and I didn't want them to get infested out in the garage. I don't figure three fleeces will kill the septic tank, and hopefully by this time next year I'll be able to procure a cast iron tub on freecycle or craigslist.

Here I am starting to skirt the fleece, which basically means cutting off all the yucky or short bits:

This is Esther's fleece, our light-haired sheep, though from what I understand, all the sheep will become lighter in color as they get older. At least their outside coat will, not the underside wool, which will hold its present color. Esther has gray wool, beautifully flecked with cream.

Here's the fleece after soaking in super hot water with ~1/4 cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid and rinsed twice:

Here it is drying on the trampoline:

And here is Tabby, wishing I hadn't sewn the opening shut because it looks so inviting:


LisaZ said...

That looks gorgeous! I want some...


Danielle said...

Send me your address, and I'll send you some. danielle at touch the earth farm dot com.

Jenny said...

OK that does it. I really want a trampoline now!

(who has at least a dozen fleeces still needing to be washed)

Danielle said...

Where in the world are you storing them?!

They'd probably dry in a heartbeat out where you are.

Carolyn said...


It will be cool to see how one thing becomes another.

Way to use something you have for a diffrent use. That is the essence of homesteading...right?


Rue said...

It's so beautiful! Are your kids still enjoying felting? I'm a complete addict.

That top picture's going to make Dagny want to get a sheep, I just know it.

On another note, all that work's got you looking quite buff *g*.

Angie said...

I'm impressed at how you got it off in one piece! After learning how to shear sheep for the first time this year, there is no way in hell I could have accomplished the one-piece thing!

It looks awesome - what are you going to do with it?

Verde said...

I loved having sheep and wool. We sent ours to a place up near you (beginning with a Z) to be processed - though I wanted quilt batting.

Danielle said...

Angie, I just learned to shear the sheep this spring (big surprise, I blogged about it *g*), and that was definitely my best fleece. Funny though that it came off the sheep with the worst haircut.

I'm thinking about shearing them again this fall because the fleeces were so grown and matted after a whole year. Now, they're looking really nice, and my black sheep has some really pretty silvering in her fleece. Not sure if that's "desirable" or not, but I think it's pretty.

Verde, I thought about sending them out, but they really weren't in good enough condition to do so. Plus, I want to learn to do it myself, and since we're just using the fleece for needle felting, it doesn't really matter much about the condition. Quilt batting sounds lovely though—I'd never even thought about that.