Posts Tagged ‘lambs’

Monotonous Job X 27 = Washing Raw Wool

October 2, 2008

If you’re sick of hearing about the sheep’s wool…. imagine how we’re feeling!  We’ve come a long way, baby, from the stinking fleece on the back lawn Monday night.  I realized at approximately 11:32 p.m. on fleece washing night that I had a book titled Back to Basics from the library with a detailed explanation and colored photos of the sheep-to-sweater process.  Whew.  So, the top picture is the semi-washed wool that only semi-stinks, but some of it is semi-ruined because either I agitated it too much or the water temperature changed too much during it’s 17 baths.  So it felted its way out of getting cleaned any further.  And I’m kind of glad… less IS more.  Another discovery was the hole in the bottom of the red tub.  Good grief, you should have seen the puddle on the kitchen floor.

This is not a new pet or a fur trim for a Bag for Zaza.  It’s a strip of curly wool that got felted into a row that is a semi-smelly neck wrap or a fantastic dog toy.  Trixie LOVES it.

This is my TA-DA picture.  The puffs of wool in the Walmart bag have been separated individually so the debris has fallen out.  The fluffs on the counter still contain vegetable matter and require separating over the kitchen sink until junk-free.  When you separate the fibers the ball of wool doubles in size… at least doubles!  The farm smell is still lingering in there just under the surface of the clean soapy smell.  I’m hoping that Friday’s dying in boiling water will cure the end of the stink.  Can’t you hardly wait to see the results?????  Me either.  Christy, I wish you were here to help me….. sigh.

A Baaa-aaa-aaaad Field Trip

September 24, 2008

That was Baaa-aaa-aaad in the cool sense of the word.  We are studying sheep with the boys right now and ventured to a sheep farm 45 minutes from our home.  There were about 100 sheep on the farm and they are hair sheep, not wool sheep.  They shed and don’t need to be sheered.  A few of them were cross-bred with wool sheep, so they look fluffy.  But the wool falls out like the hair.  They looked like goats to me, but I’m a citified girl for sure.  These sheep are raised for their meat and the ones at this farm are for training sheep dogs.

When we arrived there were several large fields with sheep dogs being trained and little groups of sheep running in circles.  Reminded me of the boys’ first years of hockey.  We got to hold sheep and feel the difference between hair and wool.  We learned all about the four stomachs and how the sheep are called different names after surgery.  (eeeweee)  The grand finale of the day was when the 12 kids were put in the huge field to do the job of a sheep dog and herd the sheep into a small pen in the center.

It was highly entertaining.  It was obvious which kids have played defence in some sport.  The kids lined up and got the sheep moving in the right directions, but at the last moment the sheep passed the pen and went back to a safe corner of the field.  Back to the drawing board.  Much discussion was had and lines were formed again.  They did get the sheep in on the second attempt… after only 10 minutes.  The lady at the farm told us that a group of adults from American Express were doing the same thing for a team building experience.  It took them 45 minutes to get the sheep in the pen.  Figures.  Adults all have their own hair-brained ideas of how everything should go.  They probably needed to shed a bit of the wool over their eyes.  Puns fully intended.

There were also five month old sheep dogs pups that needed to be socialized.  It was providential that we had 12 homeschool kids that also needed to be socialized.  :o) 

We were invited back in the spring when the lambs are born!  Yippy Skippy.