Saturday, 27 July 2013

A whole new adventure

Raw fleece!

So far to date I have bought my fibre to spin commercially prepared into combed tops, or hand carded into fluffy batts for me. I have recently been hand carding rolags from commercially combed top, which was a new experience, but this time I am going back to how its been done for thousands of years. Fleece straight off the sheep!

Its something that I have resisted for many reasons, firstly having small children and in particularly a baby round raw fleece. Even a properly skirted fleece carries some germs and possible tetanus risk. That last part being something important, that if you are going to be regularly handling raw fleece, you need to keep your tetanus protection up to date. And of course, a large fleece takes up a lot of room, and cleaning it is a lot of work. 


An opportunity crossed my path to get a small amount of raw fleece, not only that, from the unusual Bowmont breed, a British merino breed. For more information on Bowmont sheep, see this page on the Devon Fine Fibres website

So back to my fleece, I asked for 200g of available fleece though the seller sent me nearer 260g. I was warned that the shearer had not done the best of jobs so some of the staples could be short but that was fine by me. This was not an expensive investment, this was for a play to be honest. But that was why the overweight for the money I paid, to compensate. I think that is more than fair. So my parcel arrived and I unwrapped it to get this lovely, and rather pongy lump of fleece.

Of course it ponged, its fleece, straight of the sheep and greasy with lanolin. But that said, even all wrapped up like that, I could tell it was lovely and soft. And the smell wasn't bad at all, just sheepy as you would expect. So I took the chance to unwrap it and see it properly laid out. 

260g of fleece goes a long way! And look at that lacy structure! I am really pleased! It needs a wash to lose some of the grease and the dirt in the tips, but its a lovely clean fleece, no poop, properly skirted, and a great first one to start me off. So I wrapped it up more loosely to store until I get to washing it. 

I shall keep you posted with my adventures in taking this fleece to yarn, and I may even dye too, as in a swap I got some kool aid to play with! A good excuse to play with dyeing no? 

Till next time

Kat xxx

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