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Discussion Starter #1
I have an opportunity to get some wool. Like straight off the sheep! I know I'd have to wash it first, but how? It's pretty thick and matted...Also, is there are place to send it to get spun into yarn? Or am I just dreaming a pipe dream? I know I could use it for stuffing toys and things like that, but if I could have it made into yarn, that would be AWESOME! Also, I can get some llama wool from the same farm. Thanks mamas!
 

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I posted about this awhile back since I have a huge box of wool straight off the sheep. Someone told me there are places you can send it where they will clean it and take out the bad parts (think belly to but here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) and then ship it back. I'm sure you can send it somewhere that will also spin it for you. Shop around though. Once it's clean is when you worry about moths. So until you find a good deal with a reputable place don't clean it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I have only ever cleaned a grocery bag full at a time in my sink and then used it as stuffing. I plan on sending mine as is (it's was shorn and thens tuck in a box for me so it is still very much in the shape of a sheep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) and having someone else clean it. My mom took a bag to clean and to get all the debris and what not out took her some time. Man it was might fine white wool though! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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So how would I go about finding a place to send it? I'm imagining all the things I'd google...sheep cleaners, wool washers, wool cleaners? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I'll try google and see what I come up with!
 

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Ok, yeah, googling it didn't really work! I got products to clean wool, and a bunch of places selling wool. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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You are looking for a fiber mill to clean, process, and spin the wool. But remember the final quality of yarn depends on the breed and quality of wool.
 

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A while back I inherited a llama fleece from my neighbours....I googled "how to clean a raw fleece" (or something to that effect) and used the instructions I found online. It was easier and less time consuming to do it in small batches in the sink. But, I did find instructions for doing the whole thing in the washing machine too.....
 

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Just a thought (once you get past the cleaning stage) you might be able to convince an mdc mama around here to spin it for you -- you could pay her in wool! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Not me, though -- I actively pass by information on spinning; if I take up one more hobby, my house will explode! I see a lot of mamas on the blogring who do spin though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Here's some links I found ~<br><br><a href="http://www.blackberry-ridge.com/index.htm" target="_blank">Blackberry Ridge</a> offers carding and spinning services.<br><br><a href="http://www.bartlettyarns.com/custom.cfm" target="_blank"><br>
Bartlett Yarns</a> does custom processing - although their minimum is 100 lbs!<br><br><a href="http://www.thesheepshedstudio.com/index.html" target="_blank">The Sheep Shed Studio</a> offers spinning and dyeing.<br><br><a href="http://www.spinderellas.com/" target="_blank">Spinderellas</a> also offers carding and spinning.<br><br><a href="http://www.fingerlakes-yarns.com/customwork.html" target="_blank">Fingerlakes Woolen Mill</a> offers washing, carding, and spinning!<br><br><a href="http://www.allfiberarts.com/cs/millscanada.htm" target="_blank">Here's</a> a site with links to mills in Canada.<br><br>
And a <a href="http://www.google.com/Top/Shopping/Crafts/Supplies/Fiber_Arts/Yarn_Arts/Spinning/Processors/" target="_blank">similar link</a> from the Googles for US mills!<br><br>
Enjoy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I'd be inclined to wash it myself (if you have a top-loader, this shouldn't be too hard) and then find a mill to process it for you. You might very well find that bags of the raw fleece make excellent currency for MDC's spinning mamas, though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> The best way of finding a mill is going to be to find the website for your local sheep and wool festivals and look at their lists of vendors- the chances are that there's a mill close enough to you that you can drop off and collect from.<br><br>
eta: or, of course, you could just learn to spin...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
WOW! Thank you so much! You all are such brilliant mamas! I might have to pay a MDC mama, that sounds like a great idea! Now, anyone up for the job?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I have to find out what type of sheep they are. I saw them (they are at a petting farm) and they definately lookes matted. I'm not sure if that's just how sheep are though...definately not the nice white wooly look we see in pictures! They told me they get between 7-9 pounds of wool off one sheep. HOLY COW that's alot of wool! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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You might have to throw anything up to a quarter of that, though, when you skirt it (skirting = the process of cutting away the sheep poo and all the really icky bits that you really just don't want to put your hands in.) I've found that when I wash fleece, I'm losing up to a third of the weight when I rinse the lanolin out...
 

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Check out these books (if your lucky your library will have them.)<br><a href="http://woolery.com/Pages/coversspin/aldenamos.html" target="_blank">http://woolery.com/Pages/coversspin/aldenamos.html</a><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTeach-Yourself-VISUALLY-Handspinning-Consumer%2Fdp%2F0470098457%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F103-1806360-3538226%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1177711194%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Yourself...7711194&sr=1-1</a>
 
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