Saturday, December 11, 2010
I have been skirting fleeces lately. I was happily surprised at how clean the first one was. I really was expecting a lot more VM (vegetable matter)and BM (poo). But there was very little BM...almost none (I guess cleaning the sheep's sleeping areas nearly on a daily basis really pays off in the end), and except for a few clumps of throw-away where the burrs had got matted in, there wasn't a lot of VM either. Even some of the matted spots came out fairly easily. I found it better to pull the wool apart and out of the burrs than to try to pull the burrs out of the wool. If that makes sense. I love the feel and smell of the wool. It amazes me how much less lanolin there is in the Icelandic wool than there is in the wool of other breeds.
You can see that Zinnia's locks are about 8 inches long. Her whole fleece, after skirting but before washing, fills a king-sized pillow case!
I am working on little Cookie's virgin fleece now. It is so soft, but has much more VM and BM than the five I had here had. Not huge amounts of BM but a lot of VM. I can only guess that she was being kept on hay for awhile before she was sent up to me. Her raw fleece looks like dredlocks! I love that crimp she has at the ends of her locks.
Even though she was just born in the spring, her locks are already 6 inches long.
Her fleece will fit in a much smaller pillow case, though!