Thursday, October 29, 2015


I just came back from the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival with lots of wonderful new fiber for spinning and felting.  This has to be my favorite weekend of the year, stocking up on supplies, visiting with friends, the beautiful fall colors of the Hudson Valley, and great meals.  
This is my haul, including cones of tencel for weaving, the most awesome silk/merino hand dyed top from Lisa Souza that is amazing for nuno felt, some hand dyed lace weight yarn for weaving, a lb. of clean soft teeswater locks from Delly's Delights, a big bump of charcoal merino, a bit of yak/silk top to play with, merino tencel top to spin with, handmade soap by Betsy Ketola Snell, and that big bag of merino fleece.  Everthing is so lovely that I can't wait to work with it. 

I jumped in this week with washing the merino.  I bought it from a friend who had purchased quite a bit of it at a good price, she sold it to me for twice what she paid,  so far so good.  See how nice it looks in the picture above?  Well, shame on me, I took it at face value and didn't open it up.  Imagine my surprise to find this, rolled to the inside, and this is the cleaner part.
It is crusty, moldy, and full of feces and urine stains, and my guess is that it has been in that bag for years, as the lanolin is all hardened onto the fiber.  I picked out more than half of it to just throw away, and tried to wash some of the better parts, but it is just nasty.  The second picture is after multiple washes, ends still stuck together, and tons of small vm that is so difficult to remove.  Even though the price for the fleece wasn't high, I never expected to have to throw it all out.  The cost in time and  labor of trying to flick and comb this mess is more than I want to pay. 

 So lesson learned, always, always open up the bag and examine the wool.  I know that this 
was unintentional on the part of my friend, who is stuck with several bags of this stuff.  She planned to take it to a mill for processing.  Hopefully they can salvage some of it for her.