A ram in the bath... well his overcoat anyway!
A rather murky bath full of the rams fleece. A suffolk cross breed by all accounts. I always make sure that I ask at shearing what type of breed the sheep is, if possible. Sometimes the farmer doesnt know and its impossible to tell! This has been soaking in cold water for 24 hours, letting the natural soap or 'suent' in the fleece do the cleaning for me!
After a 5 minute spin in the washing machine to remove the excess water, its a case of fluffing it all up (and picking out the odd sheeps dropping, dead beetles, dried up maggots, etc) and here we have 2 fluffy trugs of cloud...... The whole fleece is actually 6 big trugs!! A whopper!
Last bit of this stage is onto the Rayburn airer to gently dry ready for carding, spinning, hot washing to scour, dyeing and finally ball bands on and its ready to find a new home..... or stay in my knitting bag if needs be!
Its a lot of work which probably helps to explain the high cost of handspun yarns, BUT there really is nothing to beat them for uniqueness!