churro wrote:zelph wrote:Your instructions make it sound so easy....I wanna go out and get the wool and washboard tomorrow 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 When does Churro get a hair cut? How many churros do you have on your ranch?
Oh boy, lots to learn
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
I'm going to do some searching locally for some carded wool. Thank you for your offer though 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
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.