Processing the last fleeces of 2013

We have the last few days of Summer here. A gift of September. I used it to process the last fleeces of 2013.
Yesterday I scoured two fleeces I want to spin but that were too greasy after washing with the cool method.

You can wash fleeces in two manners:
1. washing which removes dirt
2. scouring which removes the wool grease (lanoline)

Washing can be done with cold water. Scouring needs hot water as lanolin melts at a temperature of 48 degrees celsius. (or some such)

Yesterdays scouring means lots of buckets in my kitchen and me walking to and from the garden with hands full of warm wool. It was fun and I look forward to spinning this. One fleece is South Down which means Longdraw!

But today I did not feel like washing the one dirty fleece still remaining in my garage. It was too warm and this fleece wasn’t even skirted yet (this means: getting rid of the pooped parts and second cuts)
So I decided to felt it. Reluctantly. Because felting is quite intensive and I am a weak pancake on a good day. And I failed at felting a fleece last year (I still have the smelly old thing wrapped up somewhere under the porch)

But it was a lovely Summer day, the cat was happy, everything smelled nice so I just went for it.
Here are pictures!

Jacobsheep fleece. Organic.

From a local farm that we get our eggs and meat from once a week. And glorious full fat butter!

It was the biggest ewe in the flock.

I took half of it. Just a gut decision. Because I saw a nice circle in it. A circle rug. To sit on. And because half a fleece may be doable in these few days of opportunity.

I laid the fleece upside down on a big piece of plastic on my crooked garden table.

I started to lay a thin layer of German Mountain Sheep on it. Bergschaf.

A second layer of Bergschaf and some silk hankies to provide backing.

A third layer to capture the silk and then first step of felting: Make thoroughly wet and press all the air out of it.

this is as far as I got today:

Tomorrow step two: rub it so that the Bergschaf catches the back of all the Jacobs locks.

now I’m tired. I hope to sleep well. After I shower. Because sheep poo.


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