Friday, September 21, 2007

good things come in large packages

...or black plastic bags...

A couple of months ago, I received a big box in the post. Inside of the box was a big plastic bag. Inside of the bag was a Shetland Fleece, from Cathy.

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(insert your best Westminster Dog show voice here- "This is Shetland #16 white/silver").

I've never had the opportunity to work with Shetland wool before, so this is a first for me. What's that? You want to have a closer look...

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The fleece appears to be in good shape, there is some VM (that is Vegetative Matter for all you non spinners), and there are some short cuts (places where the shears cut twice) and it appears to have been well skirted. Oh good... What's that you say? You want to examine a lock?

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I pulled out a handful from one of the cleaner areas. The staple length is at least 7 inches. At times like this, it comes in handy if you know the exact measurement from the wrist to the tip of your middle finger...in my case this is precisely 7 inches. Yummy...I love a long staple. It also passes the tug test..the tips are strong and sound...

I spent a good portion of the day scouring the fleece. I use several large washtubs, because I like to discard the dirty water in the compost pile rather than down my drain. I set the dirtiest portion of the fleece aside for an experiment, that I will make note of at a later date. I scoured the fleece in hot water and my favorite shampoo...not cost effective, but I love my fleece to smell good when I spin it.

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Soaking up the last bits of summer sun, the first batch of the clean fleece lounges on the deck to dry. It only had one dunk in the water and it looks pretty white and fluffy. I tease some of it through my fingers...oh, it is nice. I'm going to have to do some test driving to see which wheel will get to know the Shetland Fleece. I'm hoping it is destined for the Great Wheel, I think it would spin a nice woolen yarn...but that will have to wait until another day...a day when I get a chance to do some sampling. It's all part of the process.

7 comments:

Sue said...

Yum! That's beautiful!

Ali said...

Hi there,

I just happened by from edge effect (goofing off at work) and saw this post which leads to this question -- will the lanolin break down in the compost pile ok?

I have some wool to scour to use for stuffing a pillow, and am a rank amateur with wool, so I appreciate any advice.

Beth S. said...

Your scoured fleece looks gorgeous--fluffy like a cloud. :-) Have fun with it!

Leigh said...

Oh! It's lovely! I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Judy said...

I had some shetland roving I got from Endless Mt two years ago and I loved it. Have fun with that...Are you going to make a Shetland Shawl?

Dawn said...

It looks very nice to me .... a non-spinner, yet tempted .... so I'll be interested in seeing how you and the fleece progress. :-)

Cathy said...

LOL - thanks for the well-skirted compliment. I have 2 more fleeces like that one and they seem to be calling to me now. :-) I can't wait to see what you do. I think that dark bit is another Shetland sample (based on your photo).

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