Tag Archives: lanolin

Sheep’s Clothing

So. I unpacked my funky wool package and sorted the baddies from the goodies. If you’re going to start sorting wool, why not start right after you wake up? Preferably while you’re still in your jammies? No reason not to. So the baddies are in the trash can to my right and the good bits are piled into the TWO trash cans to my left. I tried to wash a fleece in the bathtub upstairs yesterday… turns out it’s very hard and it never really get clean… just wet and soggy. So, that being said, I called a lady at From Barn to Yarn over in Boring who specializes in cleaning wool fleeces. Lucky day! I can take it to her and in 8-10 weeks (I know, that’s a hella long time to wait) I get it back clean, carded and ready to be spun. It would probably take me an entire year to do all of that by hand and it’s only $8 a pound to have her do the heavy, dirty work. Unfortunately I have about 40 pounds of wool that I’ll be taking in. Sigh… that’s quite a dent in the teeny tiny bit of money I have scrooged away. I think I can sell whatever I don’t want for enough to make that back, so that’s good.

By the time I was finished sorting and picking the bottoms of my feet were black (shoes would have been a good idea.. but really, who has time for shoes?) and my hands were covered in oily lanolin. It’s a very good thing I don’t mind that smell.


Have you ever smelled unwashed fleece? It’s a tangy, musky, fetid smell… especially when they’re as dirty as these are. The guy who owns the sheep isn’t doing it for the wool, so they’re not very clean. That’s where the $8 a pound comes in. The fleeces have been airing out on the porch all day, hopefully they’re a little dryer and a little less smelly. Now I’m going to stuff them back into their trashcans for the night.