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Hi everyone, I'm a newbie in France.
I started to learn to spin the fleece from our sheep this year because I had to pay to have them sheared for the first time........ouch!
(MoH had a back problem and couldn't help shear)
As it cost a lot, and was professionally done (not short, back, and whichever bits we could get to) I thought I'd have a go at spinning my own.
So far so good....................... I'm getting there............ although my wool does have bumps and bits........... and I'm knitting a couple of scarves as presents for Christmas at the mo.

Getting to my questions, at last............ my sister-in-law has given me a couple of pincushions that I'm going to copy and make for a Christmas bazaar and I recently read somewhere on the internet that you can stuff pincushions with fleece. As I have such a lot of bitty fleece and lumpy stuff that won't card well (thinking of using it to felt weed matting also!) I'm wondering if it will work well for stuffing.

Anyone tried this. or have any suggestions please?
 

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ChilliGilly welcome to The Fold! Are you in France the country? how exciting and exotic. My step sister lives there and loves it.

Anyway, Wool makes a great stuffing. Ive used scrap wool to stuff toys and all sorts of things. Pack it in there really tight. What breed of sheep do you have?

Lumpy bumpy yarn isn't a bad thing. It is pretty typical of most beginner yarn or art yarn. it could be that way for a zillion different reasons. If you want yarn so "perfect" it looks store bought, you may just have to buy store bought :) Just don't beat yourself up over it. People will treasure what you make for them because you put in the time and effort and cared enough about them to make them such a thoughtful gift.

Please post pictures of your sheepies and your yarn and projects. we love to Ooooo! and Aaahhhhhh! over people's things.
 

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I'm told that we live in bandit country in the wilds of Brittany with Breton/french speaking neighbours. Our sheep are officially Texel/Rouge de Ouest cross but, I think have a bit of allsorts in them.
They are out all year, including lambing and the fleece are pretty mucky with loads of vm in them. It didn't help that MoH told the shearer to chuck them over the barrier (where they rolled about in the wind) when each one was done rather than putting them on the sheets I had so carefully taken down the field................
When I picked up my 'Sleeping Beauty sewing machine that I bought on ebay.uk ( it had a home-made large orifice flyer on it) the seller asked me if I wanted a black fleece - her other 300+ were bagged for the British Wool Board but they didn't want the black one. It was soaking wet because it had been chucked down outside but it was a treasure to me............ Moh wasn't that impressed because it dripped everywhere in the van................!

Thanks for the thumbs-up on the stuffing..............

P.S. I found this site when looking for ways to prepare my fleece - loved the Suint method and prepared all the fleece that way. My polytunnel became a no-go area for MoH as he didn't like the 'odour'.............
The ram and one of the brebis has very lanolin fleece (the ram is long cut and the brebi is short cut fleece) and they are both very nice to handle with the small residue of lanolin.................. It's a pity that I didn't have them whole to properly skirt ............ Aah! Next year!
 

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If the VM is only from them grazing or from the fleeces rolling in the breeze the. It is really easy to deal with, generally. Just shake it out. Stickers/burrs/brambles can be a real bear to deal with but not impossible.

You will learn a lot from the first few fleeces you work with. Keep notes and maybe samples of the fleeces with notes about which sheep they came from.........
 

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I was wondering about using 'waste' fleece as stuffing as well. As I was carding and pulling off the bits too small for spinning it reminded me a lot of polyfil, so I was thinking that might work. Good to know it will! Thanks ladies!
 

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Texel /Rouge de l'ouest will be great for stuffing, and spinning, not so much for felting. It sounds as if you have double clip. Did you shear them yourself or have a shearer?
If a professional shearer - get at him next year:hair
 

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Welcome!

'Waste' fleece is great for stuffing - which makes it not be waste at all. I have a friend that is making drafts toppers for along the bottoms of her doors and windows and stuffing them with her older fleeces. I've seen dog and cat beds stuffed with it. Anything someone's going to handle, I'd use clean fleece but it doesn't have to be VM free by any means. I just sold the last of my sheep a couple weeks ago. My barn cat misses them so much, I'm tempted to make him a bed stuffed with fleece too.
 

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I've made felted pincushions before, and I leave the fleece inside "in the grease" so it helps lubricate pins and needles. Sounds like you're going to stuff fabric for yours, but I did the whole thing out of wool...I just used clean wool for the outside. Here are some pics of a couple I did. I did more, but can't find those pics or some reason!
 

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MDKatie you always do an ice job :)
 
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