may I ask a couple questions?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Happyfarmwife, May 11, 2005.

  1. Happyfarmwife

    Happyfarmwife Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing about sheep, but have always thought it would be fun to learn to spin.

    I have a friend who is going to shear his sheep soon and offered me some wool.

    My questions are:

    Do I wash the wool, or do you just card it? I haven't clue. Is there a how to website?

    I have only seen this done on tv. Are spinning wheels real expensive?

    Thanks for any info you can give me.
    Deborah
     
  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Congrats on wanting to spin wool, is a lot of fun!!

    I find it better to wash the fleece first. Much easier on your equipment.

    It is best to pick out the VM before you wash the fleece. Also remove belly, and breeching wool, as this normally is course and has guard hairs. Pick out second cuts.

    Pull small batches off your main fleece, enough to fit in your kitchen sink or in 5 gallon buckets outside. Fill part way with hot water, use a product like Eucalan, then gently put your wool in it. Just let it sit until the water is slightly warm (can take a few hours).

    Gentle pull the fleece out of the water and let it drain on some towels. Drain the water out of the sink or bucket.
    There is no need to rinse when using Eucalan Wool Wash.

    If the fleece is still dirty, do this as many times as needed, until happy with the results.
    Dry on a flat clean surface.

    Make sure you do not wring or squeeze the fleece as this can result in matting.

    Here are some links about Carding, using a diz and such.
    http://www.sheepandgoat.com/fiber.html

    For spinning wheels, it is best to find a fiber shop near you to try them out.
    That is what I did, tried every wheel known to man at the time I was shopping many, many years ago. I ended up with a Majacraft Saxony. Is a wonderful double treadle wheel, very smooth and easy to spin with. And it does something many wheels do not do, you can spin very slowly if you want.
    Here is a link to dealers,, they also sell many other types.
    http://www.majacraft.co.nz/dealers/dealers.html

    Have fun!!
     

  3. Happyfarmwife

    Happyfarmwife Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the information and links. I have lots to read up on now.

    Deborah
     
  4. SilverVista

    SilverVista Well-Known Member

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    Hi!
    You don't say where in Oregon you are located, but if you're in the northern Willamette Valley, there is a wonderful group of spinners that meets once a month to spin and share, and have several spinners educational events during the year. They are the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild -- webpage Here

    Other good leads can be obtained by contacting Mission Mill in Salem.

    You'll have a wonderful time learning to use your friend's wool -- it can lead to the acquisition of all kinds of interesting animals and friends, and there's absolutely nothing more beautiful in the world than your very first pair of rustic homespun socks or mittens!

    Susan
     
  5. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Thank you for that info Susan. You wouldn't happen to know a spinning club in the Rainier/St Helens OR area would you?
     
  6. Happyfarmwife

    Happyfarmwife Well-Known Member

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    I am in Coquille Oregon. That is farther South and more on the coast. I suppose I could check around here to see if there is a group like that. It hadn't occured to me to check.

    Thanks for the information. : )

    Deborah
     
  7. MTDeb

    MTDeb Well-Known Member

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    Here's a list of spinning guilds by state from Interweave Spin-Off magazine.
    http://www.interweave.com/spin/resources/spinning_guilds.asp

    Joining a spinning guild is really a great way to learn about spinning. It's an inexpensive way to learn too. Some guilds even have wheels, carders, books, videos, and other equipment that you can borrow. :)
     
  8. Happyfarmwife

    Happyfarmwife Well-Known Member

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    What an excellent link! I found one in the next town over. It is only 16 miles away! I am going to get in touch with them! Thanks so much.