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!