Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wool Processing Woolly Wednesday Adventure Part 1 & 2 and a Happy Dancing Award!!

Whooo hooo, I'm a happy dancing girl once again!! I have been honored once again with this awesome Award!! This time by Chris of Prim Country Farms, love hers and her husband's Prim Goodies!! Thank you so much Chris for thinking of me for this Wonderful Art Award!!

Wool!! I am addicted, is there such a thing as Woolly Wove, I'm sure I have it!! Currently there is no cure for this disease, lol.

Remember wool is a 100% natural and renewable resource.

Want To Process Your Own Wool? I will have a great link at the end of today's post. I have done a lot of research on processing your own wool and this is one of the best links I have found.

Part 1 & 2: Sorting and Washing continued: So we have sorted out our wool prior to washing. Note: I do not pull out slightly discolored wool prior to washing and here's why. I'm a firm believer in "waste not, want not". It will work perfectly for the core of your dryer balls and / or stuffing. So with that said where have we been and where are we going. Washing your own wool will NOT be a fast process but you can do other things while completing this part of the process. I wash mine in about 1/2 pound increments due to the fact that I am using my kitchen sink, which opens up some other inconveniences, lol. A 2 3/4 pound bag of raw - dirty wool was sorted and separated into 5 batches for washing. Each batch receives 2 - 3 washes (I use Dawn Dish Soap) and three rinses. Which takes a total of 2 1/2 - 3 hours to complete per batch (that is just the washing process). Each wash and rinse soaks for 15 to 20 minutes. This was NOT real dirty wool, so keep that in mind. The dirtier your wool the longer this process will take. It is very important NOT to agitate your wool during the washing and rinsing process as this will felt your wool!! So with three really good wash days so far I have managed to wash less than 5 pounds of wool, did I mention this is time consuming, lol, but after it drys you will be so happy with your results and extremely proud that you did it yourself. Well I only have about another 24 more pounds to go, yikeeessss.

So what have I learned: I did buy some heavy duty Playtex Gloves and yes, that water is still freakin hot!! I have burned my hands and wrists even with my new gloves. I now also have a dedicated Wooden Wool Washing Spoon, to gently poke my wool into the hot water instead of using just my hands, ouch!!! It also appears that my skin is not overly fond of my new wool hobby. I am carrying the red itchy rash to prove it, lol. But I am stubborn and I will continue with my new journey!! Yes, I am still loving it even though there are some drawbacks (don't forget about the smell, I swear them sheep are rolling in their urine, that part is truly awful, but obviously not enough to discourage me). I don't even want to know how that speaks of my character, good griefffff. I have very sensitive skin so I should have known this was probably going to be an issue, so if you have sensitive skin this is another thing to keep in mind. Oh yeah did I mention that I've learned I need a much bigger house and a 2nd kitchen would be grand, lol.

Yippeeee, it's time to dry!!!

It's on top of the dryer...

It's on top of the washer...

It's on the heat vents...

and even in the yard!!!

Yes, you will need a lot of drying area!! I am also now planning laundry day around washing and drying wool day, lol. Place your wool on top of your dryer while drying your laundry. Drying outside is best, when the weather cooperates and is the fastest but beware of windy days or you will be chasing your wool, lol.

Just to show you how bad the Woolly Wove Disease is... Guess what came today... Yummy, over 7 pounds of wool roving, yippeeee!!!!
Aren't you just dyeing to know what I'm going to do with this...

Are you ready to process your own wool? I finally found one site that had the best information and takes you through the whole process instead of bit by bit. Here it is, hope you enjoy it: .

A bit of wool trivia: Did you know that it is recommended that you shear a sheep at least once a year as their wool continues to grow like our hair does. Of coarse that explains part of that awful smell, just imagine what our hair would look and smell like if we only washed it once a year, ewwwww. Also, it is highly recommended that you not bathe your sheep as you will felt the wool right on their body, talk about a bad hair day, lol.

So we survived washing (well at least you have, I still have about 24 more pounds to go, hehehe) and drying. So where do we go next, we will be dyeing our wool during our next Wool Wednesday.
Inquiring minds want to know and the answer is yes. Coming soon, I will be offering up some of my woolly wares for sale here on my blog and my Etsy Shop.

So it's back to work for me. I have a sculpture screaming my name (currently I'm calling him Mr. Tinkles, hehehehe) and those darn sheep are blat ting at me again. So until next time.

Have a great day!!!



  1. Brenda OMG that is a lot of work!! Good luck with all of it.LOL Hey email me when you have it ready to sell.


  2. Wow Bren! You ARE really hooked, aren't you? It has a way of doing that to people. Fibers are very touchy feely.

    You are very brave and adventurous to be washing your own fleeces. Most women send them to a processor, then get them back to dye them and spin them into yarn.

    Speaking of spinning. .have you picked out your wheel yet? That will be next! lol

  3. Hello Chris, I just left a message for you on your blog, lol. I will let you know when it is ready, okay.

    Suzie, you are too funny, ummmm, I have checked into spinning wheel classes already, hahahahahaha. I so want one and I haven't even taken the class yet, you know me that cart is always ahead of my horse, it's not my fault that darn horse is so slow, lol. I do SO love fibers since I'm a crochet addict as well touchy feely is my kind of thing. I have to touch all of novelty yarns, I can't pass a piece of clothing that looks soft, it just screams for me to touch it, etc and so on, lol.

    ((Hugs Chris and Suzie))

  4. I so can't wait to see what you are going to do with all of your wool. Thanks so much for sharing the process, this would make a terrific summer project while the weather is nice. Maybe I will try a small, very small start doing it outside in a wash tub and drying. Looks like you are having a blast.


  5. Carry on, oh Pioneer! ;)

    Anxious to see the colors.

  6. OMG! that is a lot of work. You do enjoy it though, don't you?

  7. Bren, you are so funny! I'm picturing my new tree wrapped in wool! Do you know where I can get some? lol But wool IS a very earth friendly product from where it is grown, to the final products. You can be proud to be part of the process. .or I should say, doing the processing.
    I KNEW that you would be looking at wheels. .and I'm so jealous because I don't have one yet either, but have wanted one for years. Each time I go to Fiberfest, I think "THIS is the year", but there is always something more urgent that needs my time and money. But I'm not removing it from my Life List! Like I said, too bad we don't live closer.

    And if I might leave Dee a message here too. .I'm cracking up at the image of George coming back from work, to find wool drying all over their area outside their home on wheels, and then stuffed everywhere inside too! And Dee saying, "But Honey! creative mind is smokin' " lol

    So what kind of plant materials are you going to use as dyes? This is going to be interesting!

  8. Now you need some sheep! Or do you have some already! I have an award for you at

  9. You really have a lot of patience..thats my problem..Im always in a rush..Cant wait to see you wonderfulwooly(: creations!!Big Hugs-Cat

  10. Dede, you should try it! It is the perfect time of year to give it whorl! PS, I'm still trying to figure out what in the world I'm going to do with all of this wool, I can't ever start small, I have to go over the top, a huge character flaw (that my poor hubby would agree with, so don't tell him I admitted to it, okay), yikkkessssss.

    Hehehehehe Laura. Love the way that sounds!!

    Oooohhhh how I wish we lived closer to Suzie, we could get in all kinds of trouble at the Fiber Festival, lol. We are going to do some dyeing but not with natural plants yet as I am still researching that one, that one might come in Fall.

    Hello Cindy, no sheep for me, darn City doesn't believe their domestic pets, lol. Thank you so much for the wonderful award and for thinking of me, your such a sweetie. I will post it here next week!! Yippeeee!!

    Cat, believe it or not I really do lack in patience, if I love it, I'm good to go otherwise it will sit for my heirs to figure out, lol.

    TGIF Everyone and Have a Wonderful Weekend!!

  11. Lisa, it's really not that bad. It does take a lot of time but you can do other things in between thank goodness or I probably would have been frustrated by now. I am really enjoying the process it is fun and the feeling of I did it myself, not to mention how wonderful it feels after it has been washed and dried, it feels and looks like fluffy
    cotton but even better, just amazing to me.

    Have a GREAT weekend!!

  12. Hey,Brenda, if I may offer a few tips from one wool obsessive gal to another. . . I have washed my wool in the washer. I fill it up enough to cover the wool, add soap and GENTLY agitate, just enough to get the soap all around. I turn off the wash button and let it soak for about 15 or 20 minutes with the lid down to keep the water from cooling. I then put it on the spin cycle. It saves a bunch of time wringing out the wool. I also have a mesh laundry bag that I found at the Dollar Tree that I put my wool in to dry by hanging it on a tree branch. AS for a spinning wheel, have you spun on a spindle yet? If not, I recommend it for beginners. Really helped me!!!!! AND NOW I AM SHUTTING UP!!! YAHOO!!!

  13. Ooooo Lori, great tips!! I love the washer idea!! I did read that you could put it in the washer in a mesh bag (a 50 pound onion bag, ha, I'm not buying 50 pounds of onions just for the bag, lol) but for the life of me, I couldn't come up with any other ideas, duh. The mesh laundry bag, how perfect!! I will have to find me a couple of those. I love the idea of hanging outside on a tree in the bag too!! Whooo hooo with these tips I can buy more wool, shhhhh don't tell hubby though, lol. A drop spindle is on my wish list along with wool carders and felting needles, lol. No shutting up, your the best and thank you SO much for sharing your tips, loving them!!

    Whooo hooo thank you Lori!!