This time last week I was at Woolfest in Cockermouth, Cumbria looking at sheep and all things woolly.
I was also spending far too much money on things like naturally dyed embroidery wool from The Mulberry Dyer, knitting patterns (which given my lack of knitting ability is perverse to say the least!) and raw fleece at their fleece sale. I like the fact that I know that my fleece came from Greenlands Farm, Tewitfield, Carnforth Lancs and is Saxon Merino x Saxon Merino x Ouessant ((black).
After I bought it another felt maker told me that raw Merino is really difficult to prepare as it is so fine and full of lanolin. It was such a beautiful colour though! So this afternoon I took the sheep between the horns so to speak and having looked up instructions online (as I’ve done it before but only at Wild Rose where Rosie knows what she is doing) had a go with a bucket of hot water, lots of Fairy Liquid and my trusty spinner. It had been well ‘skirted’ but it was full of dirt so I carried the buckets of dirty water down two flights and tipped them away in the street drain just in case, although I had put the fleece in a net bag to protect it and my drains!
It is laid out and drying now – and it looks like I have managed not to felt it. I just have a lot of hand carding to do over the next few days. I really must invest in a drum carder sometime soon!