Tuesday, 3 August 2010


I've had a bit of a fleece bonanza lately...although it's not like I need any more raw fleeces to add to my stash! I was at a steam fair a couple of weeks ago, and picked up a couple of alpaca fleeces from a couple who keep four alpaca as pets and had brought them along for the public to see. But they're going to have to go into the stash for the meantime, while I deal with the beauty above.

The fleece in the photo above came into my possession last week. I'll be spinning it, but it's not mine. It's from a sheep of unknown breed, and is one of several pet sheep that the owner keeps. The story goes that one of his neighbours had a daughter who would always ask to be taken to see his little boy, but what she really wanted to do was be taken to see the sheep. Many, many years later, his son and the neighbour's daughter have decided to marry. The sister of the bride is a friend-of-a-friend and asked me whether it would be possible to spin the fleece from one of the sheep in time to make something for them. How can you resist a story like that?

So: the first thing to do was clean and sort the fleece, and toss the lot in the bathtub with a pile of dishwashing detergent. I'm fortunate in that I have a huge old cast-iron bathtub, but even so the fleece filled it completely.
I can tell you, even a clean-looking fleece can hold a surprising amount of dirt! It took four rinses of water to get the water running relatively clear. The fleece then spent two days hanging around, wrapped in a sheet on top of the washing line, to dry. Compare. Before:
After (colour not true, this is beautifully white but it was a dark rainy morning when I took the photo):
It's a lovely soft fleece and I think I'm going to enjoy playing with it. I'm going to aim for a DKish weight, probably 3-ply yarn, and may play with it a bit as well. I'll post more about it as I go.

ps: I actually found a happy hour in which to WEAVE, a week or two ago! I'm hoping that free time to do so can become a bit of a habit again, after the reallyreallybusy period we've had this year eases a bit this week.

1 comment:

  1. The fleece looks wonderfully soft and the pic is quite bright white on my screen. I can't wait to see what it will become after you spin it up.