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Raw Fleeces, now what?

Keeping rabbits for their wool and methods of using it.
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Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby GBov » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:57 am


It seems a bit silly but OMG at that price ($45 delivery included) how could I say no to two full Shetland fleeces?

I only started looking on the UK version of Craigslist to see prices and breeds to help my youngest son decide on what sheep breed he wants to have - his FHA class had a lamb one year and he fell in love - and then thought, well, as fleeces are so inexpensive, why not get some of the breed he is most interested in - Shetland - and see how we like the fiber as lamb/mutton is simply delish no matter what breed so it is all about the wool really.

The fleeces arrived today and ooooOOOOOOOOoooooo how cool, one rich brown and the smaller one grey/blue. About 9 pounds of raw wool in total.

So, what now? :lol:

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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:51 pm


love it...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby GBov » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:40 pm


Have I said how much fun raw Shetland wool is?

It is SO MUCH FUN!!!!

Have made a scarf and a hat and have traded a hat to be for a real leather sofa and cushy chair.

List of must haves? A wool picker and a drum carder!

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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby hotzcatz » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:57 am


A picker is pretty easy to make and there's several different versions. Couple of boards and some big sharpened nails and you can cobble up a picker. A drum carder is a lot harder and carder cloth (the rubber stuff with the stickers in it) is pretty pricey.

For small amounts, dog slicker brushes work somewhat. The kind with the button on the back to push the fiber out of the tines is a good thing, too. Way less expensive than a drum carder, but way slower, too.

When you do find a drum carder, if you happen to have an old treadle sewing machine base around, mounting the carder on a treadle base lets you power it with your feet and have two hands to feed fiber into the carder. I've seen some carders run from stationary bicycles, too.
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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby ohiogoatgirl » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:58 am


I'm going to try and come back to write out some of what works for me. Here is a playlist I put together since I've gotten into fiber, everything from different fiber prep and picking fibers and spinning and dyeing. Hope this helps.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 14DD2C749E
Can I get back all that spare time I used to have?

https://www.instagram.com/girlwalkswithgoats/

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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby GBov » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:10 am


I got two small carding brushes and have just about worn them out now, they keep shedding bristles :evil: but as they are still working, I will keep using them (and picking the bits out) until I get the workshop done and the picker made.

So far I have made a needle felted Highland Cow for a friend although Shetland felts much softer than I like I did manage to get Hamish tough enough to stand on his own. https://photos.app.goo.gl/JoywaRwhB7Z37PWh6

A scarf which turned into a neck pillow cover for the Mumster that I have no pictures of.

And my wonky hat that everyone now wants so I have a list of people to make them for. The only picture I have of it is my daughter and me being silly in the fantastic town of Whitby so not the best but here it is anyway. https://photos.app.goo.gl/uNioDauenpSfW6kNA

For Christmas my kids got me four more Shetland fleeces, black, fawn, cream, and light blue (total cost of only$50, delivery included :shock: ) so am thrilled with them. Have started washing the black today as the first hat is to be black. We traded, she gave me a cream leather three seater sofa and squishy chair and in return she wants a black hat.

Win win indeed!

Having sorted out a way to produce sheets of felt in the space I have available that are one/two feet wide by two/three feet long so depending on what I am making at the time - much fun is being had by me.

Oh, and I can now boor people with wool AND rabbits! :lol:

__________ Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:10 am __________

I LOVE this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqlho5hgvn4

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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby hotzcatz » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:11 am


So what are you going to make with the new Shetland fleeces? Are they in similar colors to the fleeces you started with? I looked into getting a couple or three Shetland sheepies, but shipping was too expensive so no Shetland sheepies for me. Sigh!

I just washed a couple skeins of newly spun colored Merino yarn. I'd met a shepherd friend of mine several weeks ago and bought a couple fleeces from him to send to the mill with our bunny fluff. Can't send all of the fleece to the mill without playing with at least a little bit of it! So, I kept enough wool from the darker fleece to make a skein of yarn then packed that up and sent it in with the tawny and fawn colors of bunny fluff. I saved the more gray colored fleece to go in with the black/blue/agouti colors of angora fluff. Haven't sent that one in yet, it still needs to be picked over.

So, I spun up the darker and lighter Merino into skeins of yarn. The darker came out to a chocolate brown after it was washed and the light gray became a lot warmer of a gray than I'd expected. It's softer than the darker brown but not sure if I didn't send the wrong colors of bunny fluff in with the dark brown. I possibly should have sent the black bunny fluff and saved the tawny to go with the lighter fleece. And I should have kept that darker fleece to spin more brown Merino so there'd be enough here to make something now that I have one lovely skein of dark brown Merino. One skein wonders, I guess? Well, it can go into the yarn stash and it will become something. Hmm, maybe I can knit it into a hat and bribe my shepherd friend into parting with another colored fleece?
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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby GBov » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:17 am


I have three hats to make so the black fleece at least is earmarked for one.

Got it washed yesterday and then found that my new to me washer has no spin cycle. A wash and spin but not just spin so I am grumpy. When the fleeces are spun dry they finish drying on the radiator in just a couple of hours but they are going to take a couple of days to dry without spinning.

And yes, I did try putting them in a lace curtain and spinning like a top to dry them and all I have to say is, soooooo glad no one could see me. :lol:

:oops: Have contacted a seller about six, yes, SIX more Shetland fleeces and another seller about a different kind of wool whose name escapes me now. It all started with my searching for a pound of roving for the core of a Gnomette I have to make and honestly, I can get three full fleeces for the price on a pound of white roving. :shock:

It really is starting to look like a wool hoarder lives here. :oops:

__________ Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:17 am __________

Three Hill Radnor fleeces are on their way. $6.00 each plus $8.00 for delivery.

Someone needs to remove my access to the internet, the house is filling up with wool! :lol:

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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby hotzcatz » Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:26 pm


What are "Hill Radnor" fleeces? Is that a type of sheep? What type of wool do they have?

Properly stored wool will last for years, although exactly what constitutes 'properly', I'm not quite sure. It helps if they're clean fleeces. Dry is important, possibly more important for dry than clean. Heavily skirted, dry, stuffed into an old pillowcase and put up in the attic has worked for me. Heat can keep away wool moths, they say. Wool moths are evil, adding in packets of cedar shavings or lavender can be useful. There's always moth balls, but those are too stinky, IMHO. Or spin it really really fat and make it into rugs. That can use up a fleece or three. The sheep are out there making more fleeces as we type, no shortage of fleeces.
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Re: Raw Fleeces, now what?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby GBov » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:43 am


https://www.rbst.org.uk/hill-radnor They are indeed a breed of sheep. I need a solidly felting wool for the core of my gnome-ies and after paying so little for full fleeces it is hard to pay the asking price for roving. Well, it is for me anyway. :oops:

I just hope it works for what I need but even if it doesn't, it will be good for something, eh?

__________ Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:43 am __________

It works just fine as a core wool and will work for other things as well. Less soft then the Shetland but much softer than the Grey Faced Leicester so spot on for many projects.

Including the big lump I have simmering to see how much lanoline I can extract from it. 8-)

Oh, and it smells good, too. :D

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