Friday, January 16, 2015


My fingertips are sliding off the keys as I write this morning.  Mira, Zorra, Amelia, and Charlotte made sure to grease up my fingertips before I left the barnyard.

Mira and Zorra especially love to get scratches, and will leave food to come get some if I am in the area.  Charlotte and Amelia will come when the food is gone.  This morning all four were lined up facing me to get their heads, necks, and shoulders rubbed.

Mira has downy fleece below her chin and around her face.  She has a little grease along the back and sides of her neck.  Charlotte doesn't seem as soft in the downy areas but she doesn't like the same kind of touching either.  Zorra is soft all over and not as greasy.  She is the only one of the Finn or Finn crosses here that like to be touched, and she will let me part and look deep down into her locks and dream of spinning her fleece.  Amelia, likes a lighter touch and not as long.  She is the go to sheep if you have cracked fingertips in the winter as she has the most lanolin in her fleece.

I have been working with the fiber that came back from the mill.  They use gentle soap to clean the fleece rather than the chemicals that commercial mills use and do a fine job -but- there is not much lanolin left.  This year I think I will try to process more of the fleece here.  I can't believe it will be time to shear again in 3 months.  I will use the suint method again this year as I had great results with it, last.  It took some of the grease out but not all so there is some of the wools natural water repellant left. 

Some spinners like to spin in the grease and wash the wool after.  I will try more of that too.  So interesting to explore.  One day still, I would like to make some good quality lanolin.  It is kind of like making maple syrup out of maple sap, which I have done.

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