And, of course that means I've acquired some raw fleece and have been up to my elbows in wet wool.
The raw fleece is not just any ol' wool. It is corriedale from the friendly frisky fence-climbing yearling ram--Bruiser from Ewephoria Farm in Lawrence, Kansas. I didn't get a photo of Bruiser, so you don't get that treat here. But ohhhhhh, I did get a little over 2 pounds of his gorgeous wool.
Here's a closer shot of the fiber--see how crimpy and fine it is? He was coated most of the year, so there is very little nasty in it, but corriedales have LOTS of grease (lanolin) in their wool, so it has to be washed in very hot water with lots of soap. The advantage is that by the time I'm done working with the wool, my hands will be baby-butt soft.
It's great to buy fleece from a spinner's flock because in addition to getting wool from clean well-cared for and loved sheep. You get advice about how to clean the fleece to the best advantage. Tina, the artistic shepherdess of the flock explained her method, which is basically what I found here and what I am doing in the kitchen sink.
For those so inclined to wash fleece in the kitchen sink, I've found the way clear after fixing the man of the house a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, and 5-grain pancakes. There's almost nothing considered unacceptable after that.