Monday, May 20, 2013

Mr. Jacob Has A Bath.

Mr Jacob has been soaked, scoured and dried!

After letting the wool soak overnight, I drained out the water to get the worst of the guck off - Ewww! Gross! The water looked like chocolate milk and stunnnnnk. I didn't want to photo that. Let's look at more pretty wool instead:

Next, I filled the big pot I use only for dyeing with the hottest water I could make. I stirred in some bio-degradable detergent, and dunked in some wool! After ensuring it was submerged completely under the water, I placed it outside to cool. It was neat to see the lanolin floating on top of the water!

Later, I emptied the pot of water and carefully rinsed the wool. I dried out the fibre by squeezing it gently with a towel, and hung it up in my second bathroom to dry.

Poor, poor bathroom. It looks like a sheep exploded in there.

Even the octopus got fleecey.

I could not process the all the fibre at once - I had to scour the fleece in six different 'chunks'. However, Mr Jacob seems to be free of lanolin and dirt now! I was afraid I might have to repeat the process a second time, but I don't think I have to. There is still some straw and grass tangled in the fibre, but I will pick that out as I sort the fleece into different colours. I believe the rest of the dirt will come out during the carding process.

Now that Mr Jacob is all clean and dry, my next step is to prepare the fleece for spinning with my drum-carder... after I am finished plying my mountain goat. I only have 4 more ounces of fibre left to go - wish me luck!



  1. Your house must not have smelled pretty. Speaking from experience dying other animal furs for fly tying you need to make sure 100% of the oils are out of the fibre or you wont get a good absorption of the dye. I would try a small hunk in a second go and see if much oil comes out then you will know how you are doing.

  2. Actually, the house wasn't tooo bad - mostly just the bathroom, but that seems to be aired out now.

    At this stage, I am not too concerned about getting 100% of the lanolin out - after the yarn is spun it will get another hot cleaning with detergent, which will help. And if I get some lanolin on my fingers during the spinning process, that's ok too - its excellent for your skin!

    The natural colours of this sheep are SO pretty that I am not planning on dyeing the yarn! But I will certainly keep your advice in mind if I change my mind - thanks Phil!

  3. Oh Grace you are brave! I know it will all be worth it though! Awesome job :)