Skirting My Wool

The underside of Kim’s fleece.

“I’m only going to do one fleece,” I told Jon, “then we’ll have lunch.”

It rained all morning and it looked like there was more coming, but I wanted to get started on skirting my wool.   I’m bringing the sheep’s fleeces to  Nobletown Fiber Works on the 24th of June and need to get it done before then.

I had a few of the sheep shorn in the fall and still hadn’t skirted their wool even though I’ve been meaning to do it before the spring shearing.

It was really perfect weather for skirting, overcast and cool.  So I got out the screen and an empty garbage pail to put it on, then started with Kim’s fleece.

When Ian sheered the sheep a few weeks ago, he tossed aside the wool from under the belly and top of the head.  It’s short and dirty and can’t be used.  When I skirt the rest of the fleece I pull out any sticks, seeds hay, or whatever might be stuck in it.  I also get rid of the wool that is a lot shorter than the rest and  wool caked in manure.

The center of Kims fleece was matted down to about an inch thick.  The rest of her wool was about five inches long.  I kept the best of it, put it in a plastic bag and wrote her name on it.

I did mean to stop after that, but I thought just one more and pulled out Merricat’s fleece from the spring shearing.  Turns out,  Jon and I didn’t have lunch till 3:00.  He was busy blogging and I just kept skirting.

Constances wool is a lovely color and has a nice crimpI got most of it done before I needed a break.  I just have Asher, Issachar, and Lori’s wool left to skirt.  Asher and Issachar are always the toughest because their wool is so thick and holds onto debris more than the Romneys.

My hands are soft from the lanolin and I can still smell the wool on them as I write this. There’s no edge to the smell of wool.  It’s soft, a mix of sweet hay and spring mud.   If it were a bottled scent I’d wear it.

I still have a tuft of Liam’s wool on my desk.  Sometimes I pick it up and smell it.  It’s the smell of my good life, with Jon, on the farm.

That’s Robins wool on the frame.  The sheep came to the gate when it was time for them to eat.  The hung around sniffing the air, maybe wondering who the sheep on the other side of the fence was. Fate sat between me and the gate the whole time.

2 thoughts on “Skirting My Wool

  1. As a knitter the best smell is that of sheep and I love finding small pieces of vegetation, what you so carefully are removing. It connects me with where the wool is coming from. That being said, I appreciate your work, too much vegetation would take away the experience of knitting with the wool, I would think.

    1. Oh I love that KJ! And when I get my wool back and it has some bit of nature in it, I think the same. Thanks for pointing that out. Especially because it’s bound to happen. 🙂

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