Gee, I Feel Sheepish!

I was a woman on a mission today.

Firstly, thanks to WordPress and everyone who stopped by on that last post! I just find it so amazing that a little old knitting blog is that interesting to anyone in the blogosphere. But you all sure know how to make a blogger feel special! Thanks again!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming… 😉

As I said, I was a woman on a mission today. First update at bat (did you like that bleacher boy? 🙂 ) was that spindle up there. That wool is some of the wool I got when I first started spinning. I’m just really ready for it to be spun. I need to make room for all the wool I’m going to get!

Here it is, up close and personal.

I took it with me to both jobs today and even taught one of my co-workers how to spin on it. So about a yard or so of it is not actually my handspun, lol. It’s great eye candy while it’s being spun, but I’m so glad I only have one more length to go on this. Then, it will be ready to be plied and out of the way so I can get some more wool, rinse and repeat.

And speaking of wool…As you may know from that last post, I was waiting for some unwashed wool to arrive. I burned fumes getting here after work when I saw that my Parcels app showed my package was delivered. Over the last few days I had been gathering things that I had read I would need to do the job. So, here it all is, dirty wool and all.

Do you remember seeing all of those cute, little plushies of white sheep being sold this past Easter holiday? No? How about all of the little Mother Goose stories with illustrations featuring cottony, immaculate, white sheep? Surely, you must have come across one. Well, let me tell you…that is highly inaccurate.

This is what my wool looked like when I opened the bag.

And I think this was probably not as dirty as it could have been! Oh! And Barrysentials, you were so right about the smell-IT GOT IN MY MOUTH, LOL!

Ten ounces is a lot of wool. So, I started the task of separating it all out.

That looks like a lot, huh? Not even a dent in the stuff. So, if I completely botch this batch, I still have plenty more to felt. 🙂

As I was separating the staples, I began to easily see which end was the tip (though they weren’t as pointy as I thought they’d be). In each staple, it appeared the dirtier side was the tip.

It makes sense though. The tips are the part of the fleece that is most exposed to the elements, I suppose. So, it gets dirtier.

I placed a row in the mesh bag while keeping the tips pointing in the same direction. Then, I placed another row in the bag pointing in the opposite direction. Then it all went into some hot water with some Dawn dish detergent.

By this time, all the natural light had scrammed. But I did fill another bucket with water that I hope was the same temp (that was probably the most difficult part of the process) and dunked them again. After they sat a bit, I took them out and put them all one-by-one on a towel to dry.

Hmmm? Did they felt? I’ll let you know when I know. 🙂


  1. Very pretty drop spindle, and beautiful fiber colors. Interested to see what happened with the raw wool.

  2. Very interesting. I’m not a knitter, but I’ve always thought spinning and weaving were cool and I like to know about how things are done. Would love to know how that cute little spindle works.

  3. carpelibrum says:

    How fun! Good luck with the processing. I have some raw wool that I need to get cleaned up too!

    • I have to come see how you do that! There must be a way to streamline this….probably why folks use their bath tubs…

      • carpelibrum says:

        The woman I got it from has a flock of 30 sheep and she has told me that once the weather gets better and we have more sunny days, she’ll show me how she processes it. I am excited! I will definitely blog about it.

      • I’m excited too now, lol! Definitely can’t wait to see how she does it!

  4. I love your passion for knitting — it’s inspiring. 🙂 The colours that you have spun would make a very sweet knitted or crocheted skirt/dress. You make spinning look so fun!

  5. Ohh how exciting, processing your own fleece! We are on the same page here. I’m getting a shipment of TWO POUNDS of alpaca fiber! It will be my first time doing this. Alpaca seems to be a bit easier since they don’t have the greasy lanolin sheep do… but they have a TON of dust. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

  6. daisiejane says:

    That spindle is amazing! Had you been drop swindling long before you got your wheel? Would love to see a demonstration -maybe a video tutorial?

    • Funny you ask! I started spindling last summer and I wanted a wheel, but never expected to have one for a few years. But, the hubby, who I’ve been dating again since last summer (lol), surprised me with one on Christmas. I was floored! Before last summer we were in Splitsville. But, I think the wheel bought him a Get Out of Jail Free card, lol! I’ll see what I can come up with. Might take a minute to set up though….space is precious here and that Girl Child runs what’s left!

  7. I figured there had to be a lot more involved then just washing the wool! The pictures are terrific too. How and where did you learn to spin and prepare the wool?

    • Actually, I’m learning to prepare wool from all over the web! Just picking what seems to be do-able for my living situation at the moment. So, I’m still hoping that works out. But, I learned spinning last year over my summer break. I mostly watched YouTube videos and read books like HIGH WHORLING by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, RESPECT THE SPINDLE by Abby Franquemont and PRODUCTIVE SPINDLING by Amelia Garripoli of Ask the Bellwether. All were great resources and where one dropped off when I had a question, another picked it up. I practiced a lot too because, while it was great to read it and see it, it’s one of those things your hands have to learn along with your brain. Watched every episode of That 70’s Show that summer learning to spin, lol!

  8. This looks like a very interesting process – can’t wait to see the next step! Very cool….

  9. Good luck with the washing and the processing. I haven’t quite hit that level of experimenting. It’s probably not far off though.

    Also, I’m curious about where you got that Turkish spindle.

    • Thanks for the well wishes!
      The spindle is from Threads Thru Time on etsy. They also have a ravelry thread/group too so you can see the items others have bought from them. I think it’s in the Spindle Candy group, if I’m not mistaken.

  10. OMG! That spindle and wool are absolutely fabulous!!! I have not been able to master the spindle AT ALL! Impressed. And then there is the raw wool…… Ok, I’m laughing! Our spinning teacher gave us raw wool to try to spin with so I know what you are facing! Courageous woman!

    • Thanks! Did she wash it in class? I’m curious because those tips are so stubborn!

      • No, we spun and then washed. We just spun the tips into our work. I know some of the women purchase fleece and then send them out to be “finished”. In another spin-in a woman using raw fleece also spun and then washed. There are “spinning in the raw” contests. 😎

      • Wow! I didn’t want to throw my leftover bits away, so I used them to spin tonight too. Just a little sample. But it is good to know it is not unheard of lol.

  11. Well, that is some beautiful yarn on your spindle. And as for that wool, let’s just say that I will appreciate the work that others have done so that I can crochet or knit with my nicely washed skein. More power to you! 🙂

    • LOL!! I know…it is not for everyone!! I enjoyed everything but the smell. But I do think that in the future, I will probably buy more washed fleece than unwashed. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to card it though. And I’m glad I got the two buckets now because I can try finishing as a woolen now! 🙂

  12. Great post! Sometimes it is easier to spin in the grease, or dirty. The wool seems to slide, and is easier then badly washed sticky wool, or old sticky wool.

    I have been cleaning some of my sheep’s wool, which is like a suffolk sheep. It is greasy but I have been cleaning it in cold water, but letting it soak for a an hour between rinses. I don’t know if it removes all the grease but it is working and uses less energy. It is fun to try different methods, which may work for one fleece but not others.

    And I love the spindle, it looks so beautiful with the yarn!

  13. Wow you are energetic. Years ago when I was in 4-H I did some work with wool, and have not repeated it.
    Good job!

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