Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wool !!!

We are so lucky to have a Wool House on our farm! Can you imagine the "stash" I have in there? A hundred years ago, it was a chicken house. I spend many hours skirting my fall fleeces in the wool house. Growing quality wool is a year long endeavor.
Because our sheep graze on pasture (or our lawn!) during the warm months, it eliminates most of the hay and straw in their fall fleeces. We harvest our beautiful wool crop towards the end of October. In preparation, the sheep are housed in the barn overnight so their fleeces will be nice and dry. The shearing station is set up in another section of the barn.
We hire the excellent, New Zealand-trained shearer, David Kier. He is truly amazing with the sheep, keeping them calm and quiet. It only takes a few minutes per sheep from start to finish. Belly wool is removed, then each freshly shorn fleece is put into a separate box and labeled with the animal's name.

The boxes are taken to the Wool House, where I can skirt them at a later time. The best thing about having a place just for your wool is that you can leave the work in progress and come back to it as time allows.
I have a couple of skirting tables where I work. Second cuts and vm get thrown below. My dogs just love playing in that mess!

Icelandics come in so many colors, patterns, and textures. Just one of the reasons I love them so! I am currently taking photos of skirted fleeces and hope to have them posted soon.

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