The sheep are sheared and vaccinated, and now on to the fiber! I am amazed how much wool came off those two little sheepies. I decided to work on Cookie’s first, as she is smaller than her sister. I laid it out on a table, per the instructions, and did my best to shake out any short bits that got in there and pull out clumps that were really dirty or full of bits of hay. Then I gave it a good washing in Dawn and carefully rinsed it without agitating it or changing temperatures abruptly, both of which would cause it to turn to permanent felt.
It took two days to dry it completely, but I stuffed it back into Cookie’s pillowcase and today I moved on to Dot’s. I had discovered that it is much easier to handle the wool while it is dry, although the “grease” feels like paraffin on my fingers and I smell like a stable.
With Dot’s wool, I tossed the worst sections into the trash can until I began to worry that I was being overzealous and that I may end up with only half the fleece when I was done. I got a lot less careful as I went along. The first, most discriminating batch came out of the wash just as white and beautiful as it could be. Look at the unwashed pile on the counter and compare it to the clean batch drying on the table.
I have washed two thirds of it but have run out of room to dry it, so I get a break. In between sessions at the barn, I have been crazily spinning bats of mohair that have been languishing in the closet. I don’t have any plans for making things with it yet, but there will be no room for the new stuff if I don’t get a move on! I decided I’d spin single threads to use up as much of the colors as I can and then I’ll randomly make up two-color yarns by plying together singles that I think might look nice together. Then it will sit until I can come up with something to make.