I asked for it and...ick!

A friend was out in Vermont on Sunday at a place that was basically giving away wool. I couldn't go so I asked her to get me some if she could. She stopped by Sunday night and dropped off a black trash bag full of fresh off the sheep, dirty, greasy, stinky wool. Seriously stinky!

Want to get the undivided attention of six dogs at once? Open a bag off this stuff in the middle of the room. Every dog scrambled to get their face in it, even the 14 year old! I admit, I do like the smell too, but not in my house, so out into the garage the bag full of stink went!

I picked off a handful or two last night and tried a bit of scouring in a mixing bowl while we watched TV and set it out to dry today. I "carded" a small bit with a dog brush. The wire kind for big hairy dogs that look like carders. It's definitely interesting, but I still have a lot of homework to do and proper equipment to borrow or buy before I can properly prepare all of this. Not to mention working up the nerve and the stomach just to tackle picking the bits out of it.

I'm not sure how many pounds of raw wool I have, maybe four or five? I don't have any sort of scale in the house to find out. I understand that what I end up to spin with can be half or so, maybe less, of what I start out with. Still pretty sweet, even if my garage does smell more like a barn now!

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Get some Orvus paste to wash that and it will come out white as white can be! Was it skirted or do you have to do that? What about trying to spin it raw from the lock and then washing the yarn afterwards? Do not be afraid to get the hands dirty and experiment!


albert's picture

I love the smell of sheep in the morning- it smells like...sheep in the morning.

Craig's picture

You should try and scour the fleece as soon as you can. When it is clean don't store it in a plastic bag, I keep my clean fleeces in calico bags.

Have been knitting for years. I knit continually then will try another craft, but will return to the needles.

MMario's picture

somewhere I saw an article about "scouring" wool that invilved putting it in a black plastic garbage bag with (???) and letting it sit in the sun for a week or so....

anyway - the lady swore up and down the result was clean enough to dye - which is pretty clean.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MMario's picture

okay - I found several: FSM (Fermented Suint Method - cleans the fleece;
but doesn't remove the lanolin. YOu still need to scour with detergeant to remove lanolin

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

That is some nice looking wool. My first fleece scouring involved very dirty, very oily, and very black fleece right off the range. Talk about a mess! It did teach us to be very thorough with our skirting, picking and washing [lots of washing as it was Very Dirty] but it spun up okay. Hmm...maybe that's why I've always been timid about processing fleece. But it sure makes me appreciate fleeces from spinning flocks, versus right off the range. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

hypie100's picture

Hi there
I saw the comment on facebook, I did not know that you could wool in a bale, Here in London, there is a kind of petting farm where the sheep are put in the park to eat the grass, they are kind of bossy and bump the people to see if they have anything for them to eat. I think it is a bit cold to shear them ;-)

QueerJoe's picture

Hey Aaron...once it's skirted and scoured, you may want to bring it with you to Easton...I'll have my drum carder there (and I can also bring hand carders) if you'd prefer to card the wool in May!

Aaronknits's picture

That would be fantastic! Thank you Joe!