Tuesday, June 25, 2013

....more Wool Washed

I started washing more wool Monday morning.  I wanted to get done early due to this heat we are having.  I have finally finished washing the wool that I am sending out to have socks made, that is the wool on the left half of this cattle panel, the right side has three fleeces that I will pair up with last years fleeces to have roving made. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chloe has her lambs

Chloe has finally delivered her lambs......and of course two rams!  They both look like they will have crimpy fleeces.  Chloe has a wonderful fleece with luster or sheen, which ever term you prefer.  It is a pleasure to spin.  Hopefully these traits will be passed on to these guys, I'm sure they would make someone a really nice ram or fiber wether.

Booth at Lake Farm Park - Wool Fest

This was our booth at LAKE FARM PARK -Wool Fest.  Dave, Tammy and I decided to go together and share a space at this event.  We have quite an assortment of items to offer, from raw fleeces, roving, skeins of hand spun yarn, hats, scarfs, shawls, purses, ornaments and antler buttons.

We had great weather for this event and a super location....at the end of a row at the entrance of the building so even though it was 80 plus degrees, we had a constant breeze.  It was nice to meet and talk to all the other fiber minded people.

I also had some time to use my drop spindle which I don't always use, but really enjoy it and should make more time for it. 

**note to others**  The drop spindle is an inexpensive way to get to spin wool if you cannot afford a spinning wheel.  Don't deprive yourself of getting to make your own yarn! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sheep for Sale & Lake Farm Park - WOOL FEST

I haven't any pictures to post here today, but I have added some pictures under the FOR SALE tab.  Have more lambs/ sheep to add, but not everyone wanted their picture taken, so I will try another day.

Preparing for Wool Fest at Lake Farm Park, Saturday & Sunday, June 22nd and 23rd.
I will attending both days with fiber friends, we have gotten a booth together and I will be offering roving in black, moorit, grey some light mioget and a moorit shetland/ alpaca blend of roving...also some hand spun skeins.
If you are going to this event, stop by and introduce yourself.  It would be great to meet more fiber enthusiasts.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Alongquin Guild Meeting - Dye Day

Once a year we have a dye day at our monthly meeting, we always have a great turn out of members to learn and have a chance to dye some fiber together.
Above pic. shows members getting the low-down on what to look for when buying a fleece and how to skirt a fleece.
This year we had purchased some Jacquard dyes to try out.
I found Mildred playing with my raw wool.

She appears to adore the aroma.

Below, various techniques used to dye wool:

Raw wool stuffed into nylon potato bags, left to soak in stock pots of dye solution.
 Skeins left to soak in crock pots with dye.
Roving arranged in an electric skillet left to simmer with dye solution, carefully placed to make striped roving, therefore, striped yarn once spun.
 ....I believe locks of wool being dyed.

End Results Below:

Try your hand at dyeing some wool......add a little to your skeins!!
Have a Great Day! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Washing wool

My plan was to wash the fleeces from my eight white crossbred ewes beginning early Sunday morning, well I didn't get started until afternoon so I didn't get all of the wool washed but I finally have gotten started.
I will give a quick walk through how I now wash wool, thanks to Dave L. for showing me an easier way.
....my previous method was one five gallon bucket at a time, that is ok if all you want wash is a small batch. 
Begin by starting a small fire outside, campfire style.....I didn't think to take a pic. of my fire at the time.
I have purchased 6 stock pots from Marc's (local store), cheap.
Fill the stock pots with water and bring them to almost a boil (very hot).  Remove them from the heat and squirt your dish soap into each pot, until the water is slippery when you quickly touch the water with your fingers. 

Add wool.
Stuff wool into the pots till full, this is something that you just have to get a feel for.  With a Shetland fleece I would wash one fleece divided among three pots.
This is what I am washing white wool from uncoated sheep......I have HOURS in tipping these fleeces.  I am having socks made with this wool and where I am sending it their machines can only take a staple length of 4 1/2" length, this wool is just a little longer, so I've tipped ALL of it that I am sending.  I've held the britch out.  I'm hoping for at least ten to twelve pounds of washed wool.
It doesn't take but maybe 15 minutes soaking in hot water before you can pull it out.  I use a cheap kitchen spatula and I have a wonderful metal slotted spoon with fingers to grab the wool and pull it out.
(plastic spoons bend too much).
Lay the hot wool out onto a platform such as I use, a metal cattle panel covered with chicken wire or the plastic mesh, laying on top of cardboard tables......or whatever works.  You just want a place you can lay the wool out to cool to air temperature.
 Once the wool has cooled work with smaller batches, put some wool in a 5 gallon bucket.  Now you can use your garden hose and spray the wool with cold water and rinse it.  It usually takes 4-5 rinses to get the soap and silt out and it doesn't take a lot of water each time, just enough to cover most of the batch you are working with, I use a strainer to set the wool in as I pull it out of the bucket, squeeze out the water and repeat.  After I am satisfied with the rinsing, I like to stuff the wool in nylon bags and put them in my washing machine and spin out the excess water, this just helps to get the wool drying faster.
 Although, because I started later in the day than I like to I ran out of good drying weather so I had to move indoors and have the wool drying in my garage on my skirting tables with a fan blowing on it.

The most I have washed in one day by myself is 10 fleeces and that is enough for me, it keeps you hopping.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Meet Chloe, a light grey moget ewe.  For a while I thought that maybe she didn't get bred this year, but she began to show and she just keeps hanging on.  She is as big as a barrel, I'm hoping for twins, all the other yearlings delivered twins and I expect the same from her, although she was born from a set of triplets. 
Here again the back up ram would be the sire as we removed all the ewes from the ramd breeding pens Jan. 5, 2013.

This is really later than I like to have lambs and I am thinking of breeding much earlier next time.  I may begin in Aug/Sept., so we lamb in Jan. & Feb, 2014.  

What do I spy in the grass.....

As we were coming in our driveway early this evening we could see something moving in the grass.  We have new residents!! No MaMa in site, just five little skunks playing in the driveway.
 These guys are so small, they can't be over a couple weeks old, the clover in the yard is as tall as they are.
The little blur at the bottom is part of a pine tree I was standing behind as I snapped this photo.  Even as I walked up on them, they were totally oblivious to me even being there.
....I hope they don't stay too long, we don't need their aroma.