Skirting Wool

skirting wool 1

It was the perfect weather for skirting wool.  Jon and I sat in the yard pulling pieces of branches and burrs out of eleven bags of wool.  Suzy and all the lambs wool, took up two bags each.

Deb Foster quickly scooped up the wool as our shears Jim and Liz shaved it off the sheep at the Open House last weekend.  She stuffed it in plastic bags labeling each one with the sheep’s name.

The wool was actually pretty clean.  This weekend I’ll take it to Vermont Fiber Mill where they’ll work their magic spinning it into yarn and roving.  (Roving is what people who hand spin use to make yarn. ) It takes a few months to process.  When I get it back, sometime in the fall,  I’ll be selling it on my blog.

Socks' wool
Socks’ wool
Suzy's wool
Suzy’s wool
Deb's Wool
Deb’s Wool
Liam's wool
Liam’s wool
Kim's wool
Kim’s wool


16 thoughts on “Skirting Wool

  1. is it [possible to speak up for a couple of skeins of Liams wool now?
    I have i of Socks from last year bit would love some of the lighter to go with it for a hat/mitts set!

    thank you
    if not I will try to catch some when it come out in the fall!
    What a lovey day you had for skirting

    1. I’ll put you on my list Donna. And when the wool comes in I’ll email you. Thanks for asking. And it sounds like a nice set of mittens and hat you’re making.

  2. I’m reading Bill Bryson’s book At Home right now, in which he gives the history of nearly everything in our homes. There’s a part in it where he talks about how farmers through tinkering with bloodlines etc. got sheep to be 3X as woolly as they’d been before. That created more chance for profit and I think he said it also resulted in lamb becoming something people ate. Before then each sheep was needed for its small portion of wool.

  3. Hi Maria, I’m so glad my husband Dan came to the Open House, met you and Jon, and saw the sheep being herded and shorn. Now when I share Bedlam Farm stories with him he knows what the heck I’m talking about. He asked me what happens to all that shorn wool, so I’ve just forwarded him the link to this blog post. I hope to buy some of your yarn and/or roving in the fall. Cheers!

    1. We loved having dinner with you too. Jon enjoyed his conversation with Dan and has been telling me about it. Now you have to knit Dan a pair of socks with the Bedlam Farm Wool.

  4. Maria, the wool looks like it’s going to be wonderful again. Can’t wait to get more when it arrives at the farm! nancy

  5. I love the look of Kim’s wool. It is wavy and soft, much like that of an aging woman who has let it grow long and soft. It has a quality that reminds me of my grandma’s hair. She was a quiet, strong, gentle woman who lived a different kind of life. When my grandfather passed away, grandma was only in her fifties. She took over their business, one that you wouldn’t expect a tiny little lady to be involved in. It was in downtown L.A., near the train station. She was the boss in a business that manufactured shook, wooden crates in which produce was shipped. The business was around long before refrigerated train cars carried produce. Having grown up in the turn of the century she saw many changes. Grandma went to work until she was well into her nineties. She lived for her family and the business. I used to tell my students about her; she grew up in the days of a cart and horse, no phone and an icebox where the iceman would deliver real ice for the icebox. My students were fascinated. Grandma died at 100 years and 7 months. Unhappily I never took the time to really hear about her childhood. I don’t think she wanted to talk much about it. She grew up in Philadelphia, was a twin (her sibling died in infancy), lost her mother when she was just a young teenager and raised her baby brother. Her father remarried and from what I’ve been told her stepmother wasn’t the warmest of creatures. Sometimes it isn’t easy to be a stepmother. I know because I was one until I adopted my children. I don’t think I ever found a book that would have helped me though. My children’ biological mother didn’t want them anymore, so I became mommy to two children who have carried that baggage with them all of their lives. It is difficult to understand how a mother doesn’t want their own children; how one just walks away. Grandma would never have done that. Look at what Kim’s beautiful yarn has done for me; I just took a walk down memory lane. Sorry. I hope I haven’t offended any of your readers. Thank you Kim for your beautiful yarn. Thank you Maria for sharing it.

  6. Maria, I’ve just come back home from town and while there, met another quilter who was in the photocopy shop. She showed me the pattern she was having enlarged and then said, I have to make sure it fits into the…..and I can’t remember the exact name of the machine but you programme it with the image and it cuts the fabric pieces out for you. I feel like Rip Van Winkle coming out from under a rock, have I been asleep all these years…there is now a machine which will cut out quilt patches for you. And then I look at pictures of you and Jon working by hand, patiently taking out any small debris from your sheep’s wool and I think…don’t people know how doing things by hand, handwork, can be so peaceful in the repetitiveness of it or is it an age where people look to machinery to accommodate their lives? A Guild president came to my home last week to purchase one of my patterns. She said that they were teaching members how to applique and would use my pattern as a means of teaching others how to applique. Since this is mainly what I do and I do it by hand, as I’ve done for over fifty years, I tell people that any repetitive movement of sewing by hand (applique) can be soothing and meditative. It’s like talking into the wind, I am heard but I must be a dinosaur in this day and age of machine-everything. Mind you, machinery and I have a hard time understanding each other. I once put a three inch screw into my husband’s air to ground radio because the handle broke at one end. Worried that he’d be upset, I took care of it myself. When he realized I’d put in a three inch screw, he said it was the most expensive ….. he’d ever had. He was apoplectic.
    SandyP, in S.Ont.Canada

    1. And I’m laughing Sandy. And I agree about handwork. It’s not just about getting something done quickly and always makes me think. Something we don’t often have time to do anymore.

  7. I am a spinner and would love to have some of the border leicester or Cheviot in roving if you have any available. I am really enjoying your thoughtful and interesting posts about your animals.

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