Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:16 pm

churro wrote:
zelph wrote:Your instructions make it sound so easy....I wanna go out and get the wool and washboard tomorrow :D The big question...should I purchase the carded wool online? What type of store sells it? I'm going to google ;)

Thanks a lot for the instructions and photos :D When does Churro get a hair cut? How many churros do you have on your ranch?

Oh boy, lots to learn :lol:

Is this a good deal on wool?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-lbs-RAW-WOOL- ... 19fc3c5e27


Check out some youtube videos on felting. I would do one, but I am a little technologically challenged. It is easy, but there is a learning curve on how to manipulate the wool so it doesn't form ropey sections that have to be cut off later. And you can find plastic or rubber mats for storing muddy shoes at most hardware stores. They have a textured surface and raised edges meant to keep water off your floor. Makes a great work surface that's less messy and a little easier to work with than a washboard (because it's non-skid and keeps both hands free to work the wool).

We currently have 12 mature churros on the ranch, 5 lambs and a llama. The llama protects the sheep from coyotes (theoretically). We would have many more, but the coyotes took advantage of the fact that our last llama was too old to do his job properly. He finally died a few weeks ago, probably in his early 30's. Funny thing about llamas is that if you have more than one, they lose interest in the sheep. Our old llama loved those sheep like they were his children. He used to help lick off the lambs when they were born. When a coyote came around, he'd chirp a few times and the sheep would assemble in a delta formation right behind him, then he'd keep himself between the coyote and the sheep. I used to tell people that he owned the sheep and I worked for him. I sure will miss him.

We have them professionally sheared in the spring or early summer. I partner up with a neighbor who has more sheep than I do, to keep the cost down. His sheep are the breeds that are used for smartwool socks, and they are huge! I've also noticed that his tend to accumulate ticks, fleas and lice, while I have never seen a single bug on mine. I think that is due in part to the breed and in part to the fact that mine are exclusively grass-fed.

That looks like a decent deal on wool, but it's hard to tell anything about quality on the internet. Also, it might be worth buying carded roving. Raw wool is pretty dirty and needs to be washed and dried before you use it. Also, hand cards or drum carders can be expensive. You might check a farm supply shop for something cheaper like a pair of large dog brushes. If you decide you want raw wool, I'd be happy to send you some for free, if you pay the shipping. I never use up what I have from one year to the next.

There are other materials that felt well, including alpaca wool, angora rabbit fur and some kinds of goat wool. Alpaca and rabbit are both softer and more hypo-allergenic than sheep wool, so good for kids stuff or anything next to the skin. Churro wool is an oddity in that it has a combination of some of the finest and coarsest fiber available in the sheep wool world. It makes for a durable product (think rugs), but can be scratchy. Supposedly you can get different kinds of wool by shearing at different times of the year, but I haven't tried that. Avoid any wool advertised as "washable" as it will be non-felting. Also consider the staple length of the wool you use. That's the average length of the fibers. Churro wool has a long staple length, making it a little challenging to work with, especially for spinning. Something in the 3-4 inch range is easy to work with.

Here's a link to a reputable seller, though I bet you can find better prices if you hunt around: http://www.woolery.com/store/pc/Wool-Ba ... OyVQigcja4

There are "fiber arts" stores popping up lately, too, but you'll find better prices online. Any non-chain craft store that sells knitting supplies can usually get roving for you, too.

To wash it, I usually just shove the fleece into a big tub and run a hose underneath the fleece, with a pallet set on top to keep the fleece from floating out. I let the hose run until the water starts to run a little clearer, then dump it, refill with cool water that has some washing soda added to it (I never measure it). Let it sit overnight, drain and repeat the running-hose-rinse. Then I put it into a pillowcase or similar bag and run it through the spin cycle on an old washing machine I bought used for that purpose. Then I spread the fleece onto a chicken wire frame to dry. I do all this next to the apple trees (except for the washing soda part) so the trees get the water.


I used to tell people that he owned the sheep and I worked for him. I sure will miss him.


That's sad and humorous at the same time :( Hope the new Llama will be a good boss to you :D

I'm going to do some searching locally for some carded wool. Thank you for your offer though :D I like easy!!! having it carded is easy starting ;) I have time to search. It's a warm weather project for me to do the felting slippers. Maybe in a month when my greenhouse is buttoned up to take advantage of it's sun heating abilities. Right now I have some panes of glass that need to be put back on. Stove making keeps me too busy :roll:

Big thank you for all the good advice to keep me in the right direction.

Tomorrow, I'll go to JoAnne Fabrics to see if they can bring in some wool for me.
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:34 pm

Ahhhh, look what I found :D

There is a video on the page that shows how to make a pot cozy :o When you follow the link on the left side of the page under the photo there is an icon to click on to view the video. The icon looks like the photo that I've included.

http://www.joann.com/100pct-wool-roving ... l&start=47

The Wistyria Editions Wool Roving is an ultra-fine 100% Corriedale wool roving that's perfect for your creative projects. Featuring a refined texture, this soft wool roving has no lumps or over-dyed areas. You can use it for a variety of projects, including needle felting, spinning, jewelry-making, wet felting, 3-D sculpturing or any other artwork that requires wool. This wool roving can also be applied to surfaces like t-shirts, paper, felted items and more. Available in a range of beautiful colors to suit your needs.
Brand: Wistyria Editions
Available in a variety of colors
Weight: 0.25 ounce (each)
Content: 100% wool
Attachments
product-video-image.jpg
product-video-image.jpg (2.18 KiB) Viewed 1248 times
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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:25 am

shearing the sheep

http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby churro » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:54 pm

Here's a neat way to do it!

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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:46 pm

That's a dual purpose role of wool. level the land as it roles to camp and flattens the wool :D

Look at how they make a coat in this video:


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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:02 pm

I'm on the move :lol:

I bought a pound of this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Undyed-Natural- ... 35e1554e34

I want to try my hand at spinning it so it has a longer staple. Easy to spin and recommended for those who are beginning to spin. This fiber will felt.

I'm going to make a felted pot cozy with it ......
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churro
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby churro » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:40 pm

WOW! Zelph, if you see those guys around, tell them they are invited to my place anytime. We'll get that wool used up!

Glad to see your purchase, too. Can't wait to see what you make! Have you got a drop spindle yet? Are you planning on making one? Can I be of any help in that regard?

churro
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby churro » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:49 pm

I thought of a story some might dig. A neighbor of mine spins and has a son who is a guide in alaska. He guided the national geographic crew when they did a special on muskox, so he had the opportunity to gather a bunch of the underfur they shed in the spring, and gave it to her. She cleaned it, carded it and spun it, then knitted some longjohns for him. He said thank you, then nothing more. When she pressed him to find out how they were, he finally admitted that he couldn't wear them because they were too hot. This guy lives near the arctic circle! Must be good stuff, because it sells for a fortune, and even alaskan guides complain it's too hot.

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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:57 pm

churro wrote:WOW! Zelph, if you see those guys around, tell them they are invited to my place anytime. We'll get that wool used up!

Glad to see your purchase, too. Can't wait to see what you make! Have you got a drop spindle yet? Are you planning on making one? Can I be of any help in that regard?


No spindle yet but seems like I should have enough stuff laying around to make one. What dimensions and weight should one be? I can cut circular discs on my drill press, got dowel rod, cup hooks...stuff :D
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zelph
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Re: Wool yarn from the backs of the sheep

Postby zelph » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:11 pm

churro wrote:I thought of a story some might dig. A neighbor of mine spins and has a son who is a guide in alaska. He guided the national geographic crew when they did a special on muskox, so he had the opportunity to gather a bunch of the underfur they shed in the spring, and gave it to her. She cleaned it, carded it and spun it, then knitted some longjohns for him. He said thank you, then nothing more. When she pressed him to find out how they were, he finally admitted that he couldn't wear them because they were too hot. This guy lives near the arctic circle! Must be good stuff, because it sells for a fortune, and even alaskan guides complain it's too hot.


Wow, great story....never would have guessed an animal hair would be so insulative that it be too hot as underwear. I quess it might depend on the diameter of the yarn that was spun :o and you say it was a knitted pair of long johns, hmmmmm knitting sounds like thick :mrgreen: Makes me think of Polar Bear hair and the hair from the tails of white tailed deer being constructed of air cells that caused the hair to become buoyant when in water. I used to use it when making lead headed jigs for fishing.


Whoa!!! just had a brain backlash..."bomber lure" :lol: :lol: The other day I couldn't remember that name when I was having a conversation with Realityguy about fishing lures


Well it's no wonder then how Eskimo folks survive up there. Now I'll have to google muskox. I do remember that they form a circle butt to butt when threatened by a bear.

Quote from google:

The fine undercoat of the muskox is called qiviut (kiv-ee-ute) in the Eskimo language, which is translated as "down" or "underwool". Qiviut is naturally a soft grayish-brown color, and is one of the warmest and most luxurious fibers in the world.

Eight times warmer than wool and finer than cashmere, qiviut is hypoallergenic and will not shrink. Extremely rare, it is one of the most luxurious fibers you can choose for a garment. In contrast to wool, qiviut is soft, non-irritating to the skin, and is very durable. Qiviut garments are worn for years and can be hand washed in mild detergent. It does not shed, is odorless and retains warmth even when wet. It is an extremely warm, yet lightweight fiber that preserves heat in the winter, while also providing cool, breathable comfort in warmer weather.
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