"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recipe For Yarn

~Let's make yarn! You will need to start with a sheep.~
~When the wool is long enough, shear the sheep, removing the wool. ~
~Place the wool on a skirting table. This is my skirting table made of PVC pipe and the top is chicken wire secured all around the PVC frame. The wool fleece that was removed from the sheep is placed cut side down on this table letting loose debris, dirt, and 2nd cuts ( very short useless pieces of the fleece) fall through to the ground below. ~If you have spotted sheep like I do, you sort the wool into bags, shown here ( above ) in a laundry sorter. I separate the wool fleece into bags of black, white, and everything else....that is the wool that is so interspersed with both the black and the white that it is not worth the effort to separate the colors. This gives me the gray wool I find very attractive and also use for my dyed yarns and rug wool batts. ~The wool then needs to be washed. Here is my supervisor, Hawk. He has personally stuck his nose into every bag of wool several times and he has given the wool an enthusiastic tail wags up! I will wash the wool in my spare bathroom bathtub. (below) I fill a big bin with dawn dish soap and hot water, being very careful NOT to allow water to run onto the wool itself. I am not making felt here you know. Here I am washing fleece in two bins in the tub...I do have a lot of wool to wash. ~I keep repeating this process, placing the wool in hot , soapy water , then I cover the bin with the lid to keep it soaking in hot water for as long as possible. I then drain the water off while holding the wool in the bins with my hands and run more water and repeat until the water runs pretty clean. After the 2nd rinse I do not add any Dawn soap....it depends on how dirty your fleeces are, and you can be the judge of that.You can see in the picture that the 2 bins are in my tub, and one bin is full of white wool, the other is the 'everything else' bin.
~The wool now needs to dry. Hubby and I bought an amazing drying rack at IKEA! Very affordable and it makes me very happy because I now do not have to layer plastic and towels all over the floor to dry wool. The wool is placed on a drying rack in our spare bedroom, over the furnace vent and in front of a sunny window.~
~Another view of the drying rack covered in wet wool , in front of the sunny window in the spare bedroom.( below )~
~The dry wool is then picked, which means it is pulled apart to then be able to run it through the fine tooth carder , or brushes, and then it is carded into batts. Below are batts of gray ( everything else wool), white and black.~
~Then I spin my batts of wool into yarn. See, you can do it , really!~
~Later I will show you how I weave my wool yarn into fabric for all kinds of projects.~ Blessings: sheep, wool, spinning wheels, the joy of time spent spinning wool

21 comments:

Toni said...

Consider me very impressed. I am at a total loss for words. You go girl!

Daisy said...

This is so cool, Kathy! All very fascinating to me. It is impressive all the steps that are necessary and how much work is involved to make a skein of yarn appear!

Amy said...

How fun and I have done a little bit of this when we were raising Shetland Sheep!

LindaSueBuhl said...

very impressive recipe! I appreciate how Hawk is your fleece cleaning supervisor. For some reason lately several scripture lessons of mine have been about Gideon setting out the fleece and now this - am I testing God somehow and getting all these messages or --I know a lot of people with fleece animals and this is that time of year? Hmmm tis a puzzlement

Wilson Clan said...

Kathy, I find this entire process very fascinating! Thanks for sharing! :)

Mildred said...

I think I zapped my own message so I'll try again!!! I love seeing all that goes into making yarn. You are such an inspiration and this is fascinating to me.

kenleighacres said...

Wonderful post! That drying rack is awesome!!! I will have to get one because that is the part that has always puzzled me - ok now that I have all of this wet wool, what in the world do I do with it??? Your colors are beautiful.

shadow mountain jacobs farm said...

Great post Kathy, I love to see all that you do with your fiber. Please post more about what you make with it.

P.S. Hawk is a very handsome boy!!!

KathyB. said...

Toni, thank-you!

Daisy, of course there is a little more to do before the wool is yarn, that is another post.

Amy, I like Shetland sheep, will you be doing any more fiber work Amy?

LindaSue, now I am going to have to go back and re-read the story of Gideon and the fleece.I don't think there are coincidences with God, so apparently He is speaking to you.....maybe you need sheep!

Wilson Clan, hey, your little lamb is due pretty soon now!

Mildred, thank-you!So you too have little tussles with the comment sections!Thought it was just me.

Kenleigh Acres, Soon as I saw the drying rack I knew I had a multitude of chores for this little baby and it is under $20.00. Now I have a place to dry my dyed wool, yarns, and dry my rugs after washing!Plus, it folds up flat for storing.

Shadow Mountain Jacobs, Hawk thanks you. He thinks he is handsome too. I see and hear you got your flock fleeced! What are you going to do with your wool this year?

Shellmo said...

I find this so fascinating and am so impressed! So neat to see this process! And Hawk is such a handsome dog!!

Kathleen from Eggs In My Pocket and Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Kathy, I just loved reading this post! Such pretty yarn after your hard work! blessings, Kathleen

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Kathy, when I saw the title to this post. Between squinting eyes I said to myself, "Do I dare look? Do I dare see what the process is?" Yes, I looked, and I love it!;) Despite what everyone says, and I am way too busy, there may be angoras and spinning in my future. I loved your pictorial!

noble pig said...

It's really amazing seeing the process. I'm just amazed at what it takes to get yarn. It's a beautiful and worthwhile hobby.

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I hope if I ever get sheep or angora goats in the future I can find this post again, very helpful!

KathyB. said...

Mary@ Annie's Goat Hill, and Shiloh Prairie Farm, Angora goats are beautiful and their fiber is so lustrous....worth a try if you're already set up for goats.

Shellmo, Noble Pig, and Kathleen, it is a relaxing hobby and once you learn to spin you can spin while you visit, watch T.V., etc.,

Sandra said...

Hawk is a handsome fellow; bet he's a good guard as well. Great photos and like that drying rack. Drying fleece is always a challenge as is cleaning. Dave doesn't like the lanolin going into the septic so I clean at the farm office which has it's own septic system.
Are you shearing now? We're shearing April 4th...weather and shearer and God willing.

KathyB. said...

Sandra, Hawk is only good as a alert dog, I think he is too friendly to be a guard dog, but interestingly enough, my good tempered Labs and black cat are the animals that are protective of me!

My pregnant ewes have been sheared, and the pictures I posted are of their fleeces. My Hubby prefers not to have too much lanolin in our septic too, I do the preliminary wash in bins and dump the worst of the water outside in the dog yard, which is on an old logging road.

Miss Linda said...

This was so very interesting, dear Kathy! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I wish so much that I lived on a farm and knew how to do those things!

Pamela said...

Yet another fantastic post! It is so interesting...and the yarn is so gorgeous. Just beautiful.

(Have been MIA for the past couple of months, but am hoping we are getting "winterized" and things are going to be back to normal. Probably get all the winter jobs done--like getting the plumbing in the barn sorted--about the time for spring. Isn't that how it always is? LOL)

KathyB. said...

Thank-you Miss Linda! Just imagine what wearable wonders you could create should you learn how to spin!It really is easy, just a little practice, then you're off!

Pamela, I have missed your visually beautiful and interesting posts. Yes, winter is always fraught with her own set of situations to deal with, frozen pipes and water buckets mean a lot of carrying water out to the animals, feeding the wood stove means hauling a lot of wood in....etc.,

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