Tuesday, July 20, 2010

woginrich wool mill

I am starting to learn how to process my own wool. While I did mail most of my fleece off to be processed by the pros: I kept some for my own fiber education. So far, I'm just learning to wash and prepare the wool for cardingm which I'll do later tonight. Washing the wool wsa easy, but took some patience. I had to prepare the raw (just cut off the sheep) wool by picking out all the hay and any other bracken by hand. Then I soaked it in natural dish detergent and water (without aggitating it at all) till the water turned brown. I would lift the wool up with a cheesecloth (trying my best to not turn it into felt) and then dump the dirty water and refill it with clear, warm, water and more dish detergent. I did this about six times till the water was clear and then gave it one soak of plain water as a rinse.

Then I let it dry in the sun. That part is easy.

Now I have a pile of clean, fresh-smelling wool ready for the drum carder. Tonight I turn that clean wool into long rovings by running it through my carder, and when you pull it off that wheel it really feels like the beginnings of a new knit hat. I have a reader to thank for that. I was gifted someone's drum carder last year and with much grattitude I accepted it. If I get exctied and carried away I might start spinning with my trusty spindle. Stay tuned.


Blogger Marilynne said...

I wish I knew how to do all of that. It would be wonderful to make a garment and know I had done every bit of it with my own hands.

July 20, 2010 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Amazing. Good luck!

July 20, 2010 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

I have been offered "free" (yea!!!) wool from our raw milk farm. They don't do anything with it other than put it on their garden!!!! So I am reading up on how to process this now! Thanks for the information.

July 20, 2010 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

When I read this post I immediately thought about Rug Hooking!!! A rug for CAF from your very own wool!!!
CHEERS with a health drink!!!

July 20, 2010 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger 溫緯李娟王季 said...


July 20, 2010 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

Wool carder...wool carder...I imagine that it looks like one of those big square pet brushes, but then you mention a wheel, so perhaps it's more like a spinning wheel? I'll have to look it up. Can you post a pic too?

July 20, 2010 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Harpy 101 said...

Spinning on a drop spindle has got to be one of the finest forms of natural meditation in the world. Staying tuned! SQUEE! You've inspired me to build a rabbit hutch next to the chicken coop even though we won't get chickens until March-and no rabbits until we're down a dog or two (not to be morbid, but they're elderly and need CARE) I've decided now that I NEED satin angoras. I have 7 hand spindles. I am SO EXCITED for you! Thank you for taking us along on your journeys!!!

July 20, 2010 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Anita Farm said...

I was gifted with a beautiful Sleeping Beauty spinning wheel, I am now wishing for a drum carder because WOW it takes a lot of carding to keep up with the wheel!
Don't be afraid to try spinning "in the grease" (with carded un-washed wool) Leaving in the lanolin makes drafting just glide. (wash yarn after to set the twist)

July 20, 2010 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

My art teacher in HS taught me how to card wool with hand carders that DID look like big square pet brushes, and then to spin it by hand using a knitting needle and potato weight on the end. It was awesome. And then, we took that yarn and used it for an art project weaving. I STILL remember that, and it was "many" years ago. Is it possible to do the same with the angora fur, or would you need to mix that with something else, I wonder.

July 20, 2010 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Hound Doggy said...

When I was growing up my dad fiddled a bit with wool. He bought a raw fleece and would card it with the paddle type carders. I would help too. I was maybe 8 or 10. He had a spinning wheel and would spin the fluffy carded wool and my mom would then knit things. It wasn't until the product was made that it would be washed.

I would spin too....it was fun.

July 20, 2010 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I have an old laundry basket that I drilled holes in the bottom of. I put that inside a big plastic bin (storage type). The wool goes inside the laundry basket, the water & soap in the bin, then I dunk the basket and when I lift it out the wool stays in the bottom of the basket, without the cheesecloth balancing act. I do the whole thing outside because I'm afraid to let that much lanolin muck go down the drain. The mucky water goes right on the garden, but it does mean carrying umpty odd buckets of scalding water outside. I surgically removed the borer larvae from the vines yesterday, and thanks to all-day soaking rains I think we'll only lose one stem (fingers crossed).

July 20, 2010 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

I just started spinning this year I dont have a spindle yet so I learned on just a drop spindle but it is just as fun even if its a lot slower :-) I also recommend some good hand carders just to get a slower more laid back feeling than using a drum carder... its a pretty amazing feeling knowing you can make a garment out of a few bags of raw wool isnt it?

July 20, 2010 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Oh it's all down hill (or up hill) from here! I started spinning almost 2 years ago on a drop spindle. Since then I've acquired two spinning wheels (one that I'm selling), my own drum carder, and LOTS of fiber!!! I started processing a few months ago and can't stop. Something I found useful: I found that filling lingerie bags with fiber and washing them that way is SO much easier than just a big tub of fiber. It keeps it safe and allows you two carefully roll them up and wring them out between rinses.

July 20, 2010 at 10:12 PM  
OpenID canttalkdyeing said...

Awesome, I've been playing with raw/washed/dyed/carded wool all week. Well, all summer. For several years.

If you're not too familiar with it, I would recommend actually trying to felt some, so you know the process and the feel of it through the various felting stages. It'll make you less worried about doing it accidentally.

July 21, 2010 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I don't have anything to add since I don't spin (although I do knit) but I really like how Woginrich Wool sounds...

July 21, 2010 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I grew up near Cooperstown, New York. From around 1962-1974 there was a museum called the Woodland Museum that offered weekend seminars on such things as preparing wool for spinning. Too bad the museum closed. Maybe someday we will be able to attend classed at Cold Antler Farm!

July 21, 2010 at 2:52 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

I'm going to a spinning class in october and I'm rather excited about it. I'm hoping to get good enough to offer to turn the fleece from CSA farm I am part of's sheep into yarn for them. The price farmers get for their wool here is abominable but yarn will sell for a lot more and has less restrictions from the wool board.

July 21, 2010 at 5:02 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I just bought my first set of hand carders. I'll have to look around for a discounted drum carder, they're just too pricy for my blood right now. What an amazing gift!

I just bought my first spinning wheel a few weeks ago and have been spinning some merino roving I bought. It's an amazing process. I'm hoping to add in some of my own angora and have someone teach me how to knit (properly) a hat for this winter. I have dreams of this hat. A vision of a head warmer I personally took from animal to garment. I can't even describe the feeling.

I bought a babe wheel which isn't traditional looking but spins up nicely and key words here -in my budget. I also took a 6 hour class where the wheel seller took me through the entire process. My yarn might not be really pretty but to me its beautiful.

July 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Erika said...

I really need to find a good, not super expensive spinning wheel. I have a really nice spindle from last year's Washington County Fiber Fest. I also have lovely roving from Foster Sheep Farm. Just hard to balance time between all my hobbies though!

July 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger psmflowerlady said...

Hi Jenna,
I'm mostly a lurker. What kind of sheep are you raising? You are in a great area for fiber. Have you been or are you going to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (Rhinebeck) in the fall? It is one of the bigger ones in the country and I think you might make some great contacts there. I've never been, but from what I hear, it's great. I have been to a wool festival in OH and they had fleece competitions, sheep to shaw competitions, etc. and I've learned a lot from vendors, demonstrators, etc. I'm a newbie spinner and LOVE the process. I don't have patience to spindle spin, but become Zenlike behind my Ashland Traveller wheel. Right now I am working on some various blends of Jacob's wool and love the natural colors and the ease with which it spins. If you are interested in processing, spindling, etc, you might get some good tips from Ravelry dot com. It's a free fiber community and everyone is very helpful. Keep showing your progress - even the lurkers are interested!

July 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Rose, aka whorlwindweaver said...

I've processed lots of raw wool for a very long time. You can check my website for information on the washing machine method to save you time and trouble. Also, drying fleece in the sun can cause it to felt.

July 22, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

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