Skirting Wool For The Mill

Photo by Jon Katz

I think Jon’s picture of me skirting Asher’s wool makes me look as overwhelmed as I felt.

Last year Deb at the Vermont Fiber Mill told me that Asher and Issachar’s wool has so many varying lengths, that it was hard for them to process.  So I was trying to keep only the longer wool while also trying to deal with all the bits of hay that get stuck in it.

I started skirting the wool last weekend and only had four sheep left to do.  Suzy and Kim’s wool was the cleanest.  Lori’s wool is easy to skirt although it took more time to do.

I left Issachars wool for last for a reason.  I knew it would difficult.  It has to do with the mix of wool the twins are wonderful as it is.  They  Romney, Blueface Leister, and Cormo combination is great for spinning and knitting.  It has a nice crimp and is actually springy.

But it also holds onto everything it comes in contact with.  So all the bits and pieces from the winter’s hay that falls into their wool is hard to even shake out.

I have two ideas to make it easier for me next year.

One is to shear the sheep in May when they are no longer eating hay.  That may give the wool some time to lose some of the hay.  My other thought is to put a jacket on Asher and Issachar just for the winter.

That would be a sure way to keep their wool cleaner.

I have a lot of wool since I didn’t shear the sheep in the fall.  The younger sheep gave me almost twice as much, but the older ewes still have just small bags.  Their wool doesn’t grow as fast as it used to.

Jon and I will bring the wool to Deb at the Vermont Fiber Mill next Saturday.  I still have to figure out what I’ll do with it all, which fleeces to combine and which to dye or leave natural.  I’ll have lots of roving from Asher and Issachar for dryer balls.

I’ll get the wool back in the fall, just in time for autumn and winter knitting.

Lori’s wool

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