Today, I have been spinning “in the grease”!
The course I’m taking has us begin by spinning raw, completely unprocessed fleece. That’s fleece that has come straight off the sheep. In addition to the lanolin that’s still in the wool, there are twigs and dirt and other bits of what is referred to as “VM,” or vegetable matter.
Lucky for me, the two friends I joined in taking the class both have lots of resources in the fiber world, and they each put together a package of different samples for me to try.
I’m not sure I’ll have time to work through all the samples for the course module, so I picked one and just decided to see how it went. The one I chose was from a breed of sheep called the Tunis. It’s one of the oldest breeds indigenous to the United States. As it happens, they’re also super cute. I really want to meet one now. Anyhoo . . .
The feel of the dense mass of raw wool is very different from that of processed fleece, and I wan’t quite sure how to get started with it. Soooo, I just pulled off a little bit and decided to see what happened.
Things went surprisingly well once I got used to manipulating the sticky tufts.
Here’s what I ended up with after about an hour.
It was fun!! And interesting! By the time I was ready to stop, my hands were literally slick with lanolin. I love having put this piece of the puzzle in place. It’s the missing step between the animal and the processed fiber I’m used to spinning.
In other news, today included guacamole made with peppers from the garden.
And to show you what I meant about the Thin Edge of the Wedge shawl coming in handy, I took a picture of myself wearing it at last night’s Bee Keepers’ meeting. Handknits in action. Yes ma’am.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I laid out this weekend’s newspaper to spin over since I figured there might be some debris involved. Look at the editorial page I opened to. I didn’t even notice it until I’d been fooling with the fiber for a few minutes and the word “fleeced” caught my eye. Ha!