Sunday, June 01, 2014

Dye Jag

I've been shearing the angora goats, one every day or two, for a couple of weeks now.  I didn't shear earlier due to a long, cold , wet spring.  I am the Jewish/Italian mother of the animal world you know.  God forbid they should be chilled.  I did not want to deprive them of their coats.  Big Jim Baldwin is coming next weekend to shear the sheep and I will be thrilled.  The warm weather is upon us and the sheep are panting already, even lying on the cool hay pack on the floor of the barn.  I've been working on the "undesirable" fleeces from last year - the ones that were felted together due to sun and rain - and getting them washed and dyed.  It's no easy task as each lock as to be pulled away from the rug.  Once separated and washed the wool is soft as buttah.  I can get lost in a fleece - it's very meditative to gaze into the locks as I tease open the curls.  I'm doing something so ancient and fundamental - working with my own fiber from the animals I've raised from birth.  The feel, the aroma, the warm sun on my back, the ducks splashing in the water tub, the dogs sleeping around me, the sheep and goats grazing on the hillside next to me, is all so intoxicating.   I'm also trying to use up my supply of dyes.  I had a giant jar of teal green Jacquard dye from Dharma so we are going to have a huge teal run.  Okay with me, I adore the color.  No purple, no pink, just teal...for now.  You never know what I'm going to throw in at the last minute.  Spouse caught Monkey for me and held on to her while I clipped her long locks last night.  She was not happy about it at all, but was clearly enjoying the ability to scratch where it itches.  We did little Comet,.Luke's goat, today.  His coat was the worst, like two solid patches of curls hanging off each side of him, but I managed to pull the locks apart and have it soaking in the wash tub now.  I have more fleeces in the barn to work on, but, with the annual Mother Lode coming in next week, they might have to wait a little longer.  I've found that wool left open to the air does not attract bugs, luckily.  It's the raw wool that is bagged and stored in a dark place that is eaten by the little buggers.  I learned that the hard way.  Soooo, you see piles of raw wool lying everywhere around here.  So much wool, so little time.

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