Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lamb Sheerer

The 'Lamb' and 'Sheerer' family headstone, in historic Woodland Park, Philadelphia. Cracks me up.


Speaking of Shorn Lambs, I washed my two fleeces. I was lead to believe this was a stinky PIA, however, using the Ozark wool bag and my washing machine, it was a pretty easy weekend afternoon activity. This is what I did:

The wool bag is a big mesh bag with cinch openings on both ends. You cinch it to fit around the agitator of a top loading washer, kind of like a fabric donut. When you have adjusted the fit, you then take it out and fill it with skirted fleece...

...while the washer fills up with hot water and dishwashing soap.

When the water is ready, you pop in the wool bag 'donut' with the fleece inside and press the wool down into the water. You let it sit for 45 minutes. Make sure your 'helpful' apartment or housemates understand what's going on in the full but turned off washer:

Some words to avoid felting. You must remove the fleece anytime the machine is filling with water. When the washer has filled, you turn the washer OFF and then pop in the fleece. Never let your washer agitate or use a cycle that sprays the wool with water. Some machines have spraying rinse cycles and agitate now and then if left on a "soak" setting, so know thy machine.

After it has soaked, run the spin cycle. The draining water will be gross brown and smell 'sheepy'.

Remove the wool bag with the fleece inside...

...and put it into a plastic garbage bag so it stays warm. If it was really dirty or yolky, repeat the above 1-2 more times, remembering to remove the fleece every time you fill the washer with water and soap.

The water should run clear and have no smell when it spins out the last time.

When you think it's been scoured enough, you need to rinse it twice. The first time use 1/2 cup vinegar (I don't know why) in the hot water soak. Let it sit 15 minutes and then spin. The last rinse is just a 15 minute plain hot water soak and spin. I spin it twice on this last step just to make sure all the water is out.

Then take your wool bag and hang it up. If the weather is clear, hang it outside like a hammock.

It takes a few days to dry. I move the wool around inside the bag everyday to help it along.

Next I'll show you what it looks like carded and spun!


At 6:59 AM, Blogger AR said...

Great info! How neat.

I love that name ~ LOL

I saw one that was Craftchick. That would be a good last name to have, too.

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Bezzie said...

Wow, that's incredibly easy!!

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Donna said...

I think your baggy made all the difference!

At 8:58 AM, Blogger AR said...

Hi again! I tagged you with a meme. Stop over and see if you want to play along. :)

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Ann-Marie said...

thanks for the info--i found you from your post on the L&V message board--I just bought my first fleece today, so this is great!!!

At 9:59 PM, Blogger mariss said...

I already read this, but had to comment again. I was talking to a woman today, and she knows I knit. She was trying to explain to me that her friend is gung-ho, spins her own wool, cards her own fleece, feeds her own sheep...type of spinner.

She was so weirded out that I wasn't uber-impressed. I was thinking, I already have a friend named Sherry. Your friend isn't impressing me at all!


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