Wednesday, June 10, 2009

skirting a fleece

having acquired the fleeces from my volunteering adventure, i knew they had to be 'skirted'. this is the process of sorting the usable fiber from the crap. and sometimes that is a literal translation. so amy, thefibergoddess, offered to instruct me. i arrived at her barn to find her already involved in her own fleeces. we started by weighing the fleece, then emptying it onto the table.
we then unrolled it and arranged it to mimic the placement on the sheep. she showed me the head/neck region, legs, hind end, and belly wool. it was ginormous.
we then moved around the fleece, discarding the wool that was unusable and leaving the rest. we're wearing disposable gloves and yucky clothes as this is a 'dirty job'. i'm glad my fleeces were free and i had no emotional attachment to them because it's easy to start second guessing yourself. amy does even more sorting of hers for needle felting, batt making, and other assorted uses. my sheep had not been covered so the fleeces had hay, burdock's, grim throughout. amy let me help sort one of hers and the difference was incredible. her sheep are coated and the fleeces were much cleaner and her shearer does wonderful work as well. i asked so many questions that i'm certain her ears were ringing after.
the longer i'm in this the more i find to learn. luckily i've made great friends to guide me through!

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