Saturday, November 14, 2020

Fluff Piece

Where to start? It's been awhile. So much has changed.

Keeping it light, let's talk about fluff, the sheepy kind. Wool, that is.

Earlier this year I learned a few things from playing with wool.

Remember my Sheep2Shawl Project that I started last year? All the fiber has been spun and the next step is to twist (ply) the singles together to make a 2-ply yarn. Stay tuned.

Anyway, here's what I learned. Remember that I washed the fleece in the kitchen sink? Well, the "rich with greasy lanolin" rinse water going down the kitchen drain was not a good idea.



In fact, it was a very bad idea. Very. Bad. Idea.

The greasy lanolin hardened up and clogged the septic tank filter "and up through the ground come a bubbling crude" . . . . Well, I think you get the idea. The septic system did not like the sheepy lanolin nor did The Man.

First lesson: Don't do that again.



Here's another one.

In early spring our neighbor across the street sent me a text:


I was excited to receive a bulging bag of freshly shorn sheep fleece. I weighed it, five pounds, Woohoo!

Then I unloosened the plastic ties, woohoooo. . . . 

Oh my.


Yes, Dolly's fleece had a lot of shavings. In fact, it looked like Dolly had been sheared on a bed of pine shavings - on top, underneath, and through.

The fleece smelled great - like a pine forest - and the shavings were white and clean. 

But still.



I spent several hours picking through the fleece.

The handful of fluff I managed to clean and separate wasn't great for handspinning. The locks were short and thick with coarse dense guard hairs, very little soft fluff. It wasn't fiber I would enjoy processing so I gave up.

Second lesson: Don't do that again.



Mostly, I have learned that I enjoy the process of spinning wool and other fibers and I've enjoyed learning how to become a Handspinner.

Third lesson: Keep doing it.


Fourth Lesson: Try to enjoy what you do.