Where is Mary when I need her???

I don’t know if Mary would have been much help, however, because this was not a little lamb.  Yes, today the seven pound fleece arrived in the mail (thank you, eBay!)…. this is for our homeschool study of sheep and weaving, for those who aren’t in the know. 

Can I just say that sheep stink and now I know why.  They have their fuzzy coats on for a year while they lie in the dirt and grass and walk in the barnyard… and I don’t think they wipe after they you-know-what.  I divided the wool into four semi-even pieces and bagged three of them for my fellow homeys.  I proceeded to pick off the poopy ends of my 25% and threw them out.  We picked out grass and hay and weeds and sticks and dirt and straw and twigs and … you get the picture.

That picture makes it look kind of clean… IT WAS NOT!  So I proceeded to put the smelly pile of wool into the kitchen sink…. I’m on sink #6 of clean water… HELP!  I don’t think this will ever be clean.  I used L.O.C. (liquid organic cleaner) but there is so much dirt and stick and pieces of undesirable tidbits.  Does anyone know what I should do?

The game plan is to dye it, card it, spin it and look at it…. I’m not sure if we will get to weaving or knitting at this point.  Please email your fellow sheep farmer and ask how they get their fleeces clean for me, OK?

Did I mention that I’m a city girl who only went on dirt roads with grandpa when he went to the dump in Heppner, Oregon?  (Read:  A little clueless here.)

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12 Responses to “Where is Mary when I need her???”

  1. Jill Says:

    Now you’ve done it. You are over your head. Chu are crdazy (like Nacho Libre says it).

  2. LaVonna Says:

    Take it outside, heat up a fire, bring out the big tamale pot and boil it in hot water.

    If that does not work, spray paint it gold and ya’ll can do a dramatization of Jason and the Argonauts!

    Seriously, you need to boil it.

  3. LaVonna Says:

    Another idea is to call the sheep farm you visited and ask them what they recommend. I’m not sure how old the wool is, etc. Hot water may not make a difference….hmmmm. Are you trying to find your inner Native American? Go get Rick!

  4. rixgal Says:

    O.K., I jokingly googled “washing fleece for dummies” and found an educational video that explained the whole thing. If you’re interested, it’s here: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/na_knitting/article/0,2025,DIY_14141_3447184,00.html

    I washed WAY too much at the same time. Little balls of fluff… lots of water. There are now 57 balls of washed wool on my kitchen counter, and I’m only about 1/3 through my 1/4 of the fleece. Whew.

  5. rixgal Says:

    LaVonna, The sheep farm had HAIR sheep, not wool sheep. FYI. And my Native American took one look at the smelly mess and went to hide in the bedroom. He hasn’t come out in 2 hours.

  6. Christy Butcher Says:

    And to think, I was starting to ponder homeschooling!

  7. morethananelectrician Says:

    Whoa! You have really jumped off the homeschooling cliff here. I want to know what even put the thought of doing this in your head!!!!!

  8. Jennie C Says:

    I love it. You rock. I want to help. Please tell me you are going to make some natural dye and not use Kool-Aid.

    I think washing it in a creek would work better – a fresh supply of water flowing over it …

    How did they do it in Farmer Boy – I remember the sheering, but not the washing. Actually, didn’t they herd all the sheep into the water or something so that they were pre-washed?

  9. rixgal Says:

    Christy, I’m an ADVANCED homeschooler. You don’t have to work with stinky raw wool until year 8….

    MTAE – I’m an ADVANCED homeschooler. I don’t think this is the craziest thing I’ve done…. but I can’t remember. I was TRULY inspired at the spinning shop last week. TRULY! AND we are studying sheep and weaving… what better way to learn?

    Jennie, I wish you were here. I wish there was a creek here. And yes, we’re doing natural dye…. but also trying Kool-Aid… so we don’t ever have to go through this again in our lifetime. Can you imagine in 3 years saying, “We never tried Kool-Aid dye… why don’t we buy another fleece on eBay!” It ain’t gonna happen here.

  10. LaVonna Says:

    Linda, if the Kool Aid does a great job in staining carpets, like in our home, your wool should turn out beautifully colored. Can’t wait to see the pictures.

  11. conniewoman Says:

    Hey…all I gotta say is I am NEVER having Tamales at your house…if you end up using the pot to clean this…like dropping the toothbrush in the toilet and not telling…hence our toilet being FAR from our sink!

  12. rixgal Says:

    I did NOT use the tamale pot for the poopy sheep fleece. Never fear. Tamales are safe at Casa de Crosby.

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