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Three Bags Full

January 11, 2011

You remember the old nursery rhyme, “Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full?” Believe it or not, a wool bag is kind of a standard measure. Used to be, they were all made of burlap. Then some of the big wool buying outlets started accepting only the special plastic wool bags (though Mid States has gone back to accepting burlap). I actually prefer the plastic because it holds up better to moisture than burlap, and lord knows, we usually have lots of moisture in Oklahoma!

Here's a wool bag that can still take another 5-10 fleeces before it's full

Danny made a pretty slick contraption that is a combination ladder and wool bag hanger. It’s sturdy enough that we can jump inside the bag to pack down the wool as we fill it. I say “we,” which actually means whichever helper-under-the-age-of-25 that has been assigned to pick up the wool and sweep the board. I’m too dang old to be jumping around in wool bags. Actually, it’s more that I’m too dang out of shape to be able to pull myself up out of the wool bag once I’ve jumped around in it 🙂

The fleece this year wasn’t too bad. Last year, we had to discard a bunch of it, because the sand burrs were so awful. I half-expected it to be as bad this year, but once I skirted (removed) the belly fleece, there weren’t very many sand burrs at all. I had to toss two or three whole fleeces because I swear their previous owner had rolled in the hay pile. In fact, when Danny finished one of those, he said, “That’ll be five dollars for mowing the lawn.” Sure enough, that fleece was full of bits of waste hay and was soon in the trash can.

I took some pictures of some fleeces that I liked.

This is part of Brooklyn's fleece that we kept for Sue to hand spin. Notice the 'crimp' to the wool.

We are going to try to sell a lot more of our natural or true black fleece this year. Some we will have made into roving for handspinners, and some will be spun into yarn at the mill.

Yes, we'll have a *lot* of black wool to sell. No, this isn't the blob that ate the barn.

I’m thinking about trying to learn to knit. If I do, I’m saving this fleece from Sissy for myself:

Won't it be cool to have this random white in the yarn while most of it is black? All without dying it.

Want to know the best part of shearing? My hands will stay soft from the lanolin in the wool for weeks.

Well, the streak ended at 15. Between the bitter cold weather, Sue’s knee surgery yesterday, and getting ready to take lambs to the processor, I just ran out of runway to blog last night. So today is the beginning of another streak. Thanks y’all for visiting and hanging in there with me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 8:01 am

    Glorious glorious fleeces!!!! If you want to preserve Sissy’s bit of white save it for handspinning.

    I hope Sue is resting and recovering. Give her a hug from us!

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