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.
(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...
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?
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.
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.