skirting adventures

 I've been helping a shepherd friend with shearing and skirting.  He raises lovely Romneys and consistent top quality fleeces.  I wish he had many more, but he has limited land.  Of the thirty two fleeces we skirted most are show quality.  For the first time ever, I found a bad, broken fleece.  The shepherd was in denial when I showed this to him.  I pulled locks from several sections, and pulled till it broke, quite easily and consistently in the same spot.  It was a young ram fleece, and he couldn't think of an explanation.  That fleece went straight home with me for processing into felt in my new 81" wet felt rolling machine.  I also take all of the neck wool and skirtings.  Some of the neck wool will be saved for hand combing projects, ie backstrap weaving, and the rest will also wind up as felt.

Anyway, the other fleeces were great, especially the colored fleeces.  The whites are really good, too, but have a little bit of cotting from the covers they wore.  I reserved a very soft white and a dark grey lambs fleeces.  They have to go through a whole show season till I get them.  I'm glad I get to work with the "left overs".

Though this is a pointless ramble, I thought I'd see if anybody is out there on this forum.  I love processing wool.  therefore the wool mill.

Aunt Janet 


Posted on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 00:14

I'm here!

I once responded to an ad on craigslist and picked up some free fleece from a hobby farm in Rocklin Calif. Not skirted but not terrible messy either. The length was wildly variable. Altogther there was about 30 lbs of fleece. I gave some away, but I washed, carded and spun a bunch of it. I still have some waiting to be spun.

Have a good day!

Posted on Sat, 01/30/2010 - 11:39

Free fleece can sometimes be just fine!  Last year one of my customers didn't want to pay for processing, so they offered me all of their fleeces for free.  (add the 500 mile round trip and my day of travel, makes free not quite free any more.  I'm calling it $4 per lb, raw.)  These are Jacob, Shetland, and some Merino crosses.  A few of them are cotted, but with the new felting machines, I can make felted rugs that look like pelts.  I haven't tried that yet, but the tips and instructions that came with the machine tell me how to do it.  You bet I'm going to give it a try.  There are a lot of cotted fleeces being thrown out.  If they look good on the outside, they will make nice rugs.

I've been hand combing the Romney neck wool  into some beautiful top.  I am holding back on spinning it, because I want to have it all combed first.  It is very hard holding off.  The sample I spun from the white, (ecru) is lovely, and will work great on the backstrap projects.  I'm so behind with Laverne's tutorials, it will take years to get caught up. I want to do them all, but obviously, can't.

Hey, have you thought any more about attendingCNCH?  Early bird registration is ending this weekend.

Aunt Janet

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 01:27

 Now I have tried out the felting machine on the cotted fleeces.  I worked on a shetland and a Jacob fleece.  I skirted and shaped the fleeces into ovals or rectangles.  I laid them tips down on the slick side of my plastic bubble stuff that I'm felting on.  Lots of soap and water went on to the fleece till they were wet through and through.  I rolled it all up and loaded it into the machine.  Lots of rolling, unwrapping, re-rolling....  At one point I added a layer of merino roving to the side that is felting.  The merino is attaching to the Shetland fleeces.  They still needs some more work, but I can see that they will make nice rugs.  

I got to visit the Romney farm again today.  I brought my granddaughter to view some brand new lambs.  She got to touch some messy little wet ones.  Then we had a little visit with the shepherd while he spun some lace weight yarn, and my granddaughter played with his toy sheep and bees.

The lambs are sure cute.  Wish I didn't have such a predator problem here.  I keep some French Angoras, but they are in a very secure barn, along with the chickens.  I have eight of them at the moment.