February 25, 2009

I’ve Been Fleeced!

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 10:14 pm by Jenn

Ok, I stole that line from an AFN commercial…but it’s fitting for what I’m feeling today.  I spent 4 hours today picking through sheep poop, twigs, and all kinds of unidentifiable stuff to clean some of my fleece today.  You remember, the 4 plus pounds that I bought last week.  Yeah that stuff.  I decided today that I’d get a start on cleaning it. 

I removed the screen from my office window, washed it, placed it over my bathtub (the screen is the perfect size!), borrowed Max’s dog comb and then grabbed a handful of fleece.  I tossed the fleece against the screen and all kinds of gunk fell through….some of the bigger chunks of course did not, but screen tipping worked well to solve that problem. 

I’m not sure if I was doing this right at all, but it seemed to be working.  I’m sure I damaged the fibers….not that they were the greatest fibers to begin with, but anyway, I wasn’t to careful with the combing process.  I was too concerned with getting all the flecks of black out of my nice cream beige wool.  There were a few nice long fibers that I took extra care with, combing them gently, but right behind that nice beautiful curl was a matted mess so all that care was probably for nothing.  At the end of 4 hours, my back was killing me.  I needed a double dose of Zyrtec, plus some Sudafed, a shower and a therapist. 

After all that work, I ended up with only 3. something ounces of clean fiber.  I swear it should have been closer to a pound.  Really!  I wish I had weighed the fiber before I started…next time I will.  I’m curious just how much is lost to the poo and other stuff that gets stuck in this fleece.

Later in the day I rewashed the fleece, just for good measure and it is now drying near my office window.  My neighbor has carders and hopefully she’ll let me borrow them to card this stuff up for dyeing.  If not, I do plan to order my own, I’m shopping around now.  Hoping that Ebay comes through for me…they usually do.  If they don’t arrive before I leave Baku, I’ll at least have something to look forward to at our new post.  Dyeing my wool. 

Now, I know you are wondering…how have I been fleeced?  That sounds like a pretty productive day.  Well, I did take pictures of each step, but apparently my battery was too close to dead so NO PICTURES!  I’VE BEEN FLEECED.  Of course it’s no big deal because I’m definitely going to have to do this all again.  I mean I do have 4+ pounds of fleece yet to clean!  It would have just been nice to have my first go at it on record!



  1. Heather said,

    Oh no! Sounds like a lot of work. I’m sticking with my original plan to SEND THE FLEECE TO A PROFESSIONAL TO CLEAN AND PREPARE!!!! You’ll hopefully be with me when I get my fleece at auction, and also the cards of some great farms/companies who do that mess for ya!!! Yet another reason to love MD Sheep adn Wool!


    You should keep some out for yourself…just to try, but I agree that sending it out and getting nice yarn back is the way to go!

  2. Mom said,

    You could always send that 4+ pounds home and take it to the Sheep and Wool for them to do for you and have them send you something ready to work with!! Thank goodness you have your Sudafed!

    What a chore! It is interesting though to see how the fiber reacts to the combing, washing, etc. I’m absolutely positive I’m doing this wrong, but it’s a learning experience. I’ll definitely be wearing a mask next time! I am on day 2 of my headache. I may end up sending some home too.

  3. Mike said,

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!


    Thanks Mike!

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