Skirt Wool When The Sun Shines

Liam's wool
Liam’s wool

I’ve learned that skirting wool in the cold isn’t fun.  So this morning, when I went outside to feed the animals  and it was too warm for my sweatshirt, I decided it was a good morning to skirt my wool.

I’m working at the Cambridge Co-op this afternoon, which gives me just enough time to get all the wool done.

It was windy, but warm and I set up my plastic bags, one for the good wool and one for the junk, laid down a sheet on the grass and one bag at time, emptied the wool from my sheep onto the ground.   Then began picking through it, pulling out the twigs and leaves and burrs and feces.

Jon and I thought it would make a good video, I usually write twice a year about skirting wool, but we’ve never done a video before.   You can see it on the side bar of my blog (just to the right of this post) or  here.

Whenever I skirt wool, the animals come around.  Flo tries to sit on my lap, Fate gobbles up as much wool as she can before we can stop her and Fanny, Lulu and Chloe hang around the fence.  Minnie usually shows up too and Red sits next to Jon when he helps.

We have the wool from the Romney’s this year.  Lots of it was matted and so dirty it was unusable.  But I still got two bags from Griselle and Biddy.

We didn’t get all the sheep shorn, some of their wool was too short.   But I’m going to mix Suzy’s gray wool with Biddy’s.  And Liam and Kim’s white wool with Rosemary’s.

I’m curious to see what color Izzy and Griselle’s wool is.  And to see how they all turn out.  It’s the first time I’m mixing wool.  I’ve been told by my spinner friends that it makes for nice strong and soft wool.

We’ll probably bring the wool to Deb at the Vermont Fiber Mill next weekend.  And we’ll get it back in the spring.  I can’t wait!


6 thoughts on “Skirt Wool When The Sun Shines

  1. What a nice, informative, and fun video about skirting wool. It answered any questions I had about this initial wool handling technique. Thanks!

  2. I wanted to let you know that the bump of wool from Liam was lovely and is going to be so nice to spin. I agree about mixing the wools. Some of the best I have used has come from blends. Looks like a fun day for all !

  3. I always look forward to your blog but “skirting the wool” was an especial treat. I felt and when I first started out I wanted to experiment and try every wool. I live in Alaska so I had to go far a field to have wool sent to me. I found a particular good price for whole fleeces of Shetland wool. I was so excited I ordered 5 of them.
    And when I opened to box I found I had indeed gotten the whole fleece just as it came off the sheep…field, poo and all. My house smelled of a barn for a while and I learned how to comb, wash and process and card. I had fleece hanging from chairs drying….it was winter outside so the house was my sheep shed. Thank you for sharing your adventures It has inspired me to follow my muse wherever she may lead and it reaffirms that creativity is not crazy but a calling.

    1. Wow Carolyn, that’s so much work! But i love that you followed through with it, having it in your house. The mark of a true creative, someone who is willing to sacrifice their home for their work and passion.

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