Bringing My Wool To The Mill

Biddy’s fleece and all the  bags of wool.

Yesterday was the perfect day for skirting wool, sunny and cool.

I laid a sheet out on the grass and dumped one bag of wool at a time onto it. I sat on the sheet and went though the wool, picking out the big chunks of hay, leaves, branches, manure and anything else that got stuck there in the past six months since the last shearing.

Most of the fleeces were really clean, so it was quick work.  It took about 2 1/2 hours to do all ten.

Each fleece has its own bag of wool with the sheep’s name on it.

Fate was helpful, picking out the part of the wool with the most manure on them and trying to eat them.

Izzy’s wool

When Liz, the shearer was here she remarked on the kink and color of  Izzy’s wool.  She was impressed with it.  I couldn’t help admire it myself as I pulled it apart looking for debris.

All the wool in the back of the car on the way to the Vermont Fiber Mill

This morning I piled the wool into the back of Jon’s car and we took it an hour an a half into Vermont to the Vermont Fiber Mill.

I’m mixing the wool from the different sheep as I’ve been doing, but this time I’m also dyeing it all except for the wool from Zelda’s fleece.  That will stay white.

When dyeing the darker colors, it’s harder to gauge the exact color it will turn out.

Deb at the Mill showed me a fawn colored wool that she dyed blue and it came out a dark brown.  So I’m crossing my fingers that the colors I chose will look good, even if they don’t come out the way I expect them to.

I mixed the rest of the white wool together and am having half of it dyed orange and half yellow.  Socks and Izzy’s dark will is going to be a deep, plumb purple.  Suzy and Griselles, gray is going to be a teal.  And Pumpkin and Biddy’s gray is going to be a red.

Deb was helpful in figuring out which colors dye best with the natural colors of the sheep’s wool.

After dropping off the wool, Jon and I had lunch in our favorite restaurant in Brandon, Vermont Cafe Provence.  I had the creamiest Quiche ever  and Jon had a salad with scallops and potatoes and green beans.  We each had a cup of cucumber dill soup, that I will probably crave for the rest of my life.


You can just see the blue dish of the new birdbath in our garden.

When we parked in front of the Hardware store on the way into the restaurant I noticed the ceramic birdbaths in the window.  Jon is a really hard person to buy anything for because when he wants something, he  buys it for himself.

Just yesterday Jon was saying that he would like a new birdbath.  That ours doesn’t hold water anymore.  That he’d like something different.  So before we got into the car, I pointed out the birdbaths and told him I wanted to buy one for him.

Of course, he chose the blue one.

We decided to put it in the garden by the back porch even though the flowers cover the base.  We’ll be able to see more of it in the spring and next year I’ll plant smaller flowers around it.

We put the old birdbath in front of the house and before I could even put a free sign on it, someone stopped to take it.  Both the man and his wife who took it were so happy to have it, it made me appreciate our new birdbath even more.






4 thoughts on “Bringing My Wool To The Mill

  1. Good Morning, Maria. Thank you for this morning’s post. I’m having a rather chaotic day and just reading this post brought me back into focus. Visualizing your process of skirting the wool was very calming and tranquil and then the treat of seeing the lovely garden with the new bird bath was just what I needed to get centered again. Thank you.

  2. Hi Maria, love the new bird bath – I just bought one similar in a rose pink color with a cream interior, it really adds interest to the garden (I have a lot of pink flowers in that garden). Anyway, wasn’t sure if you’d ever heard of water wigglers for bird baths – they keep the water agitated so no mosquitos can grow, but the birds don’t mind it. I know Amazon sells them. Glad to hear Flo is OK, just went through a similar crisis with my cat, he had the world’ largest hairball turned out, looked like a small skein of wool!!

    1. Ah, your birdbath matches your garden. How nice. I’ve seen this water wigglers, it’s a nice idea. Glad your cat is oaky too.

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