Studio Notes 20/09/19 - I've got three bags full of black sheep's wool, so I'm learning how to clean fleece, card it and deciding how to turn it into art.

This post contains affiliate links, marked with an *

My house is full of wool!

I just love the random things that life brings. This week, it brought me a bin bag full of Hebridean sheep’s fleece.

Yep, it has been an unexpectedly smelly week!

Jenny (of walnut ink fame) asked me if I would like a fleece, because she knew a guy… and of course I had to say yes, despite having no idea what I would do with a fleece, or how I could do anything with it in the first place. Seriously, no clue.

As an aside, how cool is it to have the kind of contact who can serve as a fence for fleece?

Washing, washing and washing, and maybe carding at some point in future

My bin bag sat for a few days until I could tackle it early in the day. I discovered that I actually had three whole fleeces compressed into the bag, and it seemed like a good idea to wash them all at once in the bathtub.

Actually, two rounds of soaking and draining hardly touched it! I think I need to wash it in smaller clumps to make it more manageable. Still, I’m glad that I didn’t felt the wool during my cleaning attempts – probably because I was so paranoid about felting that I only used cold water.

Also, I think that was a good idea because of the water draining out in the bath… at least I didn’t send a lot of lanolin down my drains.

At the moment, the fleeces are drying on the line; thankfully we’re having a good bit of weather for it. Once they’re dry and I can re-bag them to store for a bit, I’ll tackle cleaning smaller pieces.

So now my single bag has expanded to three bags’ worth. I kinda know what I have to do to get these gargantuan things clean and usable, but what am I going to do with them?

First, I’m going to buy another cheap pet brush* (thanks, cats, for letting me use yours) and see if I can card a small amount of it to make it into yarn. Probably not a lot though, since I haven’t knitted since 2006 and I’m not yearning to do any more right now.

Next, I’m going to needle felt myself a sculpture… probably a portrait of myself.

But right now, I just have to say how impressive these sheep are. Some of them are greying, some have gone a bit blonde in the sun, and some have cute little matted curls. I really do feel as though I have a lot more appreciation for these lovely wooly dudes, now that I’ve spent most of the week smelling like one.

Last week

studio notes 20/09/19