Saturday, 10 January 2015

Sheep in the bathtub

Last summer, I decided I wanted to make myself some stuffies.  Maybe a pincushion or two as well.  As it goes it, my plan went something like this:

  • I bought new sewing pins that are super great, I should make them an equally fabulous pin cushion.
  • What does one use to stuff a pincushion?  Wouldn't poly-fibrefill be squeaky?
  • Wool!  Wool is always a good answer!
  • Where does one buy wool for stuffing?
  • *google* Hmm... that looks expensive.  And ... processed.
  • I should look for a local farm and order some wool and then I can wash it, and comb it, and even take up needle felting with it!  That sounds awesome!
  • Here's a farm on Vancouver Island that sells raw fleeces.  Perfect!
  • *after e-mail correspondence with farmer* No, I don't want a Queen size batt done up already, that would take the fun out of it.  Washing wool totally looks easy, if a little labour intensive.
  • *wool arrives*  Gah, why does my house smell like barn?  Oh...
  • *first bit of wool soaking in the laundry sink*  What have I gotten myself into?
After washing the first little bit of wool in my laundry sink, I used it all to make my pincushion.  Then I slid the rest of the box of fleece into a corner of my craft room with a promise to "get to it later".  Come December, I moved my daughter into the craft room, and my craft stuff into my bedroom.  The box of fleece remained in the hallway as I steadfastly ignored it.
Earlier this week, the cats finally took an interest in the sheepy smelling box, and I knew it was time to deal with it.  So, in an ever optimistic move, I dumped the whole box into the bathtub.
Cubic wool!

Then I hosed 'er down with the showerhead.  I'm not going to be spinning this wool, so I wasn't too careful about it felting on me.  Ick.
What a horrible shade of brown that water is.

Then I spread it all out to try and saturate the whole thing, and started imaging a sheep lounging in the bathtub.
Image taken from Vicki Stirling's children's literature blog, Originally from Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox.
My bathroom still smells of wet sheep.
I then shoved all the wool into large lingerie bags so it was easier to handle.  After four baths with Dawn dish soap, the water was much clearer.  I then took a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo that I didn't really like for myself and dumped in a fifth bath.  I left that to soak while I took a nap, then rinsed and drained and squeezed it all out.
Now it's been drying in my bathroom for 2 days.  And I need to buy some hand carders.
These ones from Birkeland Bros. will do nicely.
Imagine if I should want a wool dress!  I'd start in the fabric store, decide I don't quite like the colour of a fabric, think about dying it, then decide that the weave isn't quite the right density making the hand of the fabric all wrong, so I should just weave my own, then an hour later I'd be in out in a pasture, shears in hand going after a fluffy sheep.

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