A work friend gave me an interesting gift a few months back. A raw fleece. She has a friend who raises Dorsets and was around when Billy the lamb was being sheared. She collected the fleece and thought I would like it. That she thought of me totally made my day. I've never had a fleece before.
Now I've got this fleece at home and I have no idea what to do with it. I googled and, well, my stuff looks like a very dirty bag of stuffing, not a flat coat removed from a sheep. So much for those skirting instructions.
So I crack open a beer and take the fleece outside. It's got a lot of VM (vegetable matter) on it and it's pretty dirty. I get to work and start separating the really bad stuff from the rest.
I intend to send it to a processor for washing and carding into something I can spin or if it's not suitable for that, then wool batting for a pillow or a quilt (I don't quilt, but I can learn, or give it to someone who does). With that in mind, how clean does it have to be? It doesn't appear to have been skirted or if it was, this was a happy dirty lamb.
I worked on it for a bit and here's what I have:
What I started with:
What I plan to keep for processing:
What I plan to compost:
There's lots more to pick through. Am I doing this right? Being too picky? Not picky enough? Wasting my time?
Let me know. I'm planning to drop it at the Royal Winter Fair next weekend and am happy to talk with the processors, but also don't want to seem totally clueless.