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Minnesota, United States

20.5.15

ChiChi

The fleece I bought at Shepherd's Harvest came from ChiChi, one of Joxer's Jacobs.  Marcia Hathaway is the shepherdess.  It was beautifully skirted and has barely any VM (veggie matter) in it.
Jody teaching us how to skirt a sheep fleece (The table was Theresa's and for her alpaca fleeces.)  The fleece is spread out on the table and the person skirting the fleece goes around pulling out the really dirty bits and large veggie matter before selling the fleece.  

 I started the scouring process of the 3.3-pound fleece on Monday and finished the last two batches yesterday. Click on the link to read more about Jacob sheep.
This is the sample and photo that came with the fleece.  I cleaned the sample and it shows the beautiful variation of black to white.  Compare the white in this photo to the one below.  
The light in the basement is not very good, but this photo shows the colors nicely.   I divided the colors into batches and started from black to white.  The yellow tinge is from the lanolin and any dirt on the wool--in the grease, so to speak.  After sorting the wool my hands were very soft from the lanolin.

I have five of these little tubs.  The sink fit two, so one in the soap and one in the rinse worked out well.  I was able to do two runs through the soap (Dawn) and two runs through the rinse for each batch.  Note the clear water in the yellow tub.  Hot water and soap (I used a bit of Dawn dish washing soap) cleans the wool nicely.  When scouring, be mindful of the water temperature and agitation because shocking the wool in transition between wash and rinse soaks can cause felting.  
The water in the yellow tub shows the water after the first soak.
Handling the wet wool gently I placed two batches in the washer and spun out most of the water.  The spin cycle does not agitate the wool, so it is a safe way to get the moisture out of the wool for faster drying time.
I spread out a towel on the table and spread out the wool.  

A panorama of wool.  Scouring is finished, now the fun begins!

1 comment:

Joanne said...

What a fun time! I love the fleece you purchased.