Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: fleece to wool and felt  (Read 7907 times)

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
fleece to wool and felt
« on: April 15, 2011, 11:24:59 am »
Hello, I live near Minehead in Somerset. Does anyone live nearby who has experience of turning fleece to wool or felting that would be happy to help/meet a complete novice to get me started? I am looking to get the Porlands sheered at the end of May by Adam. I would like to learn to spin, but the spinning guild I have googled seems not to teach but rather join -in on Saturdays (I work full-time).

ATF

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Fife
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 11:45:21 am »
Afraid I can't help practically, as we're in Fife, but we've done a fair amount of felting, it's pretty easy. My partner does it mostly I'll see if she can recommend any links. It great fun, and very therapeutic - I can recommend it.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 11:54:37 am »
Hi shearling.  I'm in Scotland too so I can't help you to learn to spin and felt, but I would recommend that you go along to your local Guild.  There you can watch what others do and perhaps someone will take you under their wing once you are there.  I learnt to spin without lessons - I bought my first wheel as a flat pack ( Ashford ), put it together then spent 3 weeks trying to work out what to do.  I had seen my aunt spinning but had not paid much attention.  If I can do it so can you  ;D  There is a good Ashford spinning video and there will be others, and plenty on Utube.  Once you get your sheep shorn, play around with small locks of fleece and see how drawing it out and twisting it turns it to yarn - wrap what you have spun around a pen or similar.  This is a good way of teaching yourself about the properties of wool fibres and how they slip and cling and the effect of adding twist.  If I can help more, please ask.  Once you have the knack spinning is a wonderful skill.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 09:15:10 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 11:59:32 am »
Can you recomend any good books too, that start with preparing the fleece?  :wave:

Red

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 08:01:57 pm »
If you check out the campaign for wool website they might have some links for your area - I remember reading somewhere that there is a small mill I think in your area which takes small amounts of fleece and turns into wool ready for kntting, as a small business they might be ablet to teach you? worth a try  ???
Red

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 09:27:04 pm »
If you check out the campaign for wool website they might have some links for your area - I remember reading somewhere that there is a small mill I think in your area which takes small amounts of fleece and turns into wool ready for kntting, as a small business they might be ablet to teach you? worth a try  ???
Not really as they will be using machinery which does all the fibre preparation and manipulation automatically, whereas a hand spinner does all those things with her hands - different method.

The Ashford book shows fleece preparation but the original video (there may be a newer version) just shows how to spin straight from a freshly shorn fleece, no prep. I am not familiar with a Portland fleece but it is possible you can spin it straight without preparation

For a good book, funnily enough I was asked to write it  :D.  I got as far as laying out the chapters and their contents before I discovered it was going to cost me more to write than I would be paid (which was peanuts)  So it's still in it's foetal stage and likely to stay there  :D  My first chapter went back to how to grow a good fleece on your own sheep which I don't think other books do, then how to prep and store fleece, wash it, card it and spin.  Sorry I didn't write it  :(  But the Ashford book should help initially.
Have you tried Utube?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 09:29:02 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 07:27:37 am »
I have bought the book 'respect the spindle' and am in the process of making my own rough drop spindle to start with. I would welcome any thoughts about the mixing of fleece. I have asked someone in the Portland breeders group about them - should have thought about that myself -thanks Fleecewife.  ::). Whilst waiting for my own I was going to buy a small bit of carded fibre to start with (until I have a fleece, and get some practice in ) but am also not sure what is best to start with, any thoughts. I have been a keen knitter since early childhood I just hope my crofter ancestry kicks in for generating my own wool supply! ;D ;D. I really think you should write that book. I want to be able to do it all myself with the bare minimum of automatic machinery. Given the speedy changes to technology and the increase in DIY it might be worth it financially - it would easily be worth it historically.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011, 08:27:03 am »
Yes it would  :) :)  It's also worth it for your own pure satisfaction  8)

It's a great idea to start off with some bought ready-prepared fibre, as it lets you know what you're aiming for in your own fibre prep.  Also, you can learn the pure spinning part without having to keep stopping to make rolags (can you tell this is what I did  :D).  I began with 1 kg of Blue Faced Leicester Top - Top is a carded batt from which you can spin directly or you can divide it lengthways into narrower strips, or you can then divide those strips into bits about 3" long (7.5cms in case you're metric) then roll them into rolags and spin from there.  Quite versatile.   An alternative preparation to buy is roving which is a narrow strip which you just spin without any further handling.  Let us know how you get on.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2011, 08:59:56 am »
oops last part of the sentence was reference to your book

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2011, 09:26:32 pm »
Ah - well, no it wouldn't be worth it financially but I really would like to be an author and share what I know. Years ago I thought I would one day write a novel - it would of course have to be set somewhere between a hospital ward and a smallholding, with a bit of service life thrown in - those are the only things I know about  ;D  But the particular publishers who asked me to write the spinning book wanted me to take all the financial risk while they got all the profit.  I suppose I could tout it to a different publisher seeing as the basic planning work has been done, but I'm not sure I have time to do it for the next year or so.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 07:03:43 am »
I wrote and edited a book for primary school teachers. It only cost me time, but I felt so much better sharing my knowledge and getting some of it out of my head (if you know what I mean). I found writting a little every so often helped to shape it out. If you want an editor let me know I would love to help out. You should not have to outlay any costs with a publisher. The best thing to get them interested is to give a rough outline about what your book will contain (this you seem to have done) and then a 'hook' such a picture of a process/beast say and a paragraph that goes with it. Publishers do make more than you, especially for printing them but I managed to get 300 PA for about five years royalties. Your book would have a much longer life. Also nowadays you could try DIY and put it onto a disk format for selling through forums or Fleece sales, Guilds. This would be easy to do in the main - the hardest part would be with being strict about what to include or not this is where publishing with an editor and or company come in handy. If you want any help, in any way PM me. After all you have helped me and its good to return favours.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 06:03:47 pm »
Hi shearling - I will pm you.  Not sure when but I will  :)
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 07:27:18 pm »
I would buy the book if you ever get round to writing it. :)
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 12:24:38 am »
Thank you  :)  I think there is an increase in interest in both hand spinning and in growing your own fleece, which the book covers. I'll see what I can do, but as I say it wouldn't be for a while as I'm fully committed for  the next x number of months.  Knowing me and my total lack of business sense, I would give you all complimentary copies anyway  ::) ;D
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: fleece to wool and felt
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 06:20:02 pm »
Well we won't complain about that but it doesn't make very good business sense  ;D
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

 

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