amanda j

do i look sheepish?

Posted on: February 28, 2007

I should. There has been a lot of sheepy action around here today. I a bit beside myself with excitement. I have managed to acquire myself something a bit special today:

That is a picture of Little Purl pretending to spin. SuperSpunk is on the trail of some string to connect the wheels and a basket to put fluff in. Purl has worked out a bit of a rhythm and is waiting patiently to have a turn. Line up I say. Anyway, now that I have a wheel (I HAVE A SPINNING WHEEL IN MY HOUSE!!!) I obviously need something to spin. I have been oogling things like this for quite some time. This is what I envisaged myself spinning. This is what I got:

Having acquired my wheel (MY WHEEL!!!!) I called a sheepy shop in the middle of the city to see when they closed today. It is Lauceston Cup day, and some of us have a half day holiday. Some of us do not. It is complicated. Anyway I do, and so does the woman in the shop, who informed me they were closing at 11:30. I glanced at the clock – 11:09. I packed up my ‘stuff’ at work, loaded the car with my work and my wheel (ooh!) and hit the road, and managed to make it to the shop without breaking any laws. Sometimes living in a small city is a blessing.

With visions of purple fluff in my mind, or perhaps lime green, I cased the joint. Nothing! There was some handspun yarn with bits of wilderness in it but no fleece, fibre or anything to spin (I guess I could have pulled the insides of an Ugg boot out!). I asked the nice lady behind the counter if she could help and she headed out the back. “You’re in luck!” I could barely contain my excitement. I am not sure what happened to my face when I saw what she had. Hm. Obviously this was not going to be quite the experience I had imagined. There was some brown stuff, some more brown stuff and some cream stuff. I don’t even know what sort of sheep it comes from! Oh dear. I bought the cheapest – $12.00 for 850 grams. I don’t even know if that is cheap!

I asked the nice lady for some advice. “How do I wash this?” I was surprised by her answer. “Oh no, you don’t wash this. No no no. You must comb it to get the bits out (read poo and grass) and then you spin it and ply it and then you wash it.”

“Really?” My mind was whirring. I do not want to play with that. It has poo in it. I do not want to be combing poo out of fleece. Not even I am that committed to feeding my yarn obsession. “But I have seen it on the internet. You can buy it pre-dyed. Those people must have washed it.” Something crossed her face. I think it was uncertainty. I decided that perhaps she was not too sure of what she was talking about. Or perhaps she does not have access to google and etsy and too much information like I do. I made polite noises and asked about carding combs. The nice lady advised me to buy a pet comb. What a good idea! And cheap too! I bought my fleece. She gave me a magazine. I needed to shop further.

I went to the supermarket and bought some wool wash. And a pet comb. And some wipes because the wheel was disgustingly dirty. Then I called into the newsagent. And then I bought Interweave Knits Winter (expect to see me in Arwen soon!) and Spin Off. Because I am a spinner now.

I came home and gave Little Purl the task of finding out how to wash fleece BEFORE spinning it, which she did with very few tippy taps on the keyboard. If you are interested here is the link. Purl and the Tiny Madam and I have been washing fleece, feeling all connected to the past and the future and our ancestors and women the world over. It has been so much fun. We have hung it out to dry. It still has some bits in it, but they are clean bits. And any poo we found is gone! This is where we are up to now:


Clean and ready to comb once dry. Stay tuned. Cos tonight, I’m makin yarn!


9 Responses to "do i look sheepish?"

How exciting!!!! The (YOUR) wheel looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see the finished product. A whole family project, by the sound of it. 🙂

What excitement. And how gracious you were to possibly-confused fleece lady.

Oh that is so excellent!! I so have to learn to spin! Its something that has always interesed me. The though of being able to spin my own sock wool (like the Yarn Harlot) makes me drool!!

If you are referring to the same shop in town that sells wool that I am….They are clueless about a LOT of things I have come to decide in the past 2 weeks.


Beautiful spinning wheel! Have fun and show us some finished product when you can!

OOOOHhhhh Ahhhhhhhh! I am jealous! Especially since I have two huge garbage bags of wool in my basement (with poo) that are waiting to be processed. Alas, I do not have a wheel…….yet.

Good luck with your spinning. It is good fun whether done with poo-ey fleece or as a poo-free experience!

i think Bendigo Woollen Mills sell silvers of pre dyed and processed (ready to spin) yarn for $20 a kilo??? You have to ring them. You have inspired me despite being time poor to investigate getting the wheel languising in the garage fixed…

languishing, even

yes bendigo are ike $32 for a kilo of nice sliver and ebay for soft tops too when i spun it was these that helped me

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