Abby and I went to the Shepherd’s Harvest sheep and wool festival in Lake Elmo! It was a three hour drive there and a three hour drive back! Phew! We got up and left our house about 6:30 in the morning. Abby was the only child of mine who would go with me. The boys were all like “Um, no offence mom…but WOOL? It just doesn’t interest me…” (actual quote) My hubbie had to work (otherwise he would have totally gone with me…not!) Abby didn’t even want to go with me until I promised her lunch! What is with this family…can’t anyone else embrace my hobbies? I know…someday far far in the future I’ll have a grandchild who will think I’m the coolest grannie ever and then I can share all I know…
Here is what I came home with -
A lot of wool! The bag on the left has been washed and carded. The bag on the right … is fresh off the sheep. So now I’m doing this-
Inside that net burrito is wool. Even on their best days a sheep isn’t very hygienic. What is stuck to the wool is politely called VM or vegetable matter. lol. You know what it is…lol! I have to be very careful washing the wool so I don’t end up with a felted brick. It’s all a learning process. One thing I did notice is that I half-filled the sink and the bag doesn’t look any smaller…as a matter of fact I think it grew in size! I’m going to be washing wool forever!!! But this is the cheapest/thrifty way of doing things. The price difference is shocking! Some of the wool at the fair was $10.00 an ounce!!! This well-over-ten-pound bag was $30.00. But you never know…after all this processing $10.00 an ounce might seem like a bargain?
I considered bringing home a sheep and stashing it in my back yard. Or just rotating it among friends and family…yes I mean you Julie and Mary. Then whenever I needed wool I could just go out and cut off a chunk. That would be the saddest looking sheep ever! $30.00 isn’t so bad to have the best part of the sheep…
Yesterday (Mother’s Day) I used some of one of those gray balls of roving. I tried wet-felting. I won’t describe what that entails cause this is getting long. But basically it is a work-out! In the end I ended up with this -
It’s a case for my iPod. Here’s the back -
I’m not done with it yet I have to figure out a closure and needle felt the flowers a bit more. But there are no sewn seams! My ultimate goal is to make slippers but I’m going to start out with little stuff. I’m glad I did. This wool didn’t shrink as much as I expected and I would have had some giant slippers!
Well, this is going to be a BUSY week…again…personally I can’t wait until June…
Update: an hour and a half later…Just found a poop-ball in my washed wool! Should have picked through it a little better before I started!!! Fyi - sheep are very messy eaters and poopers! There has got to be a way to wash and dry a sheep before it’s sheared! Car-wash then spin-cycle in washer perhaps? And…I swear I haven’t been messing with the wool but I think it’s felting!!! (OK…guess I messed with it enough to discover the poop-ball…)