Spinning and curiosity, that’s how this happened.
Wool by the fleece. I need a small spread sheet to keep track of it now. It happened so subtly I barely even knew it was happening. I almost feel like an innocent bystander. Except I can’t deny, this is all my doing. I just want to learn more about different sheep breeds. Seems like a simple idea. By the fleece makes a lot of sense. It’s a good amount to work with. I get to see, feel, smell, and spin the whole thing (or the parts I choose) starting from it’s natural state. Still seems fairly simple. It is, until the boxes of wool fill the master bathroom and begin to block walkways in various parts of the house. I suppose it’s not a lot of wool in general, but it’s a lot of wool for me. A lot of wool and a lot of knowledge gained! As I work my way through fleece by fleece, I thought it would be mutually beneficial if I shared my wool bliss – informational tidbits and actual wool with others.
About two years ago, as a trial run, I purchased just over one pound of raw fleece at a fiber festival – Gulf Coast Native from a farm here in Texas. It was a slow start. I’m always a slow starter in actual physical time – it probably took me at least a month to test wool washing. After a trial run, or two or three, with the end result finally meeting my expectations, I got a good, clean, felt-free washed wool. So exciting! That excitement never wears off. It happens with every new batch of wool. I’ve been working this way for a couple of years at, what I would consider, a mostly ultra slow pace. As I go, it becomes more clear to me how to handle things and find techniques that work for me. A lot of “my technique” is actually time management. Ah, time management, the key to so many things…how I have struggled my whole life with this concept… That aside, a momentum is finally becoming a thing! While I’m not trying to rush through like it’s a big ol’ race, I do have to admit, about half way through, I get excited at the prospect of getting my hands on the next fleece. Despite the pressure of time vs. quantity, my goal is to enjoy the work and make some nice yarns by the end of every fleece.
So, pounds and pounds and pounds of wool to wash and use… in comes my Market Days booth (October 2019)… followed by an Etsy shop for good measure. It makes a lot of sense to me, to make wool available in all different stages of hand processing. I love it; I figure there are lots of wool loving/wool curious people who want to experience various types of non-commercially processed wool without the big investment of time and space. So, that’s what I offer, small batch fiber (sometimes very very small), random breeds, in various stages, starting at washed all the way up to ready to use yarns.