Transformation

I think one of the things I love best about working with wool is watching it be transformed from one thing to the next. There is something magical about taking raw (unwashed) wool and ending up with a finished product. But there is magic as well in all the steps in between.

Of course, the sheep begin it all by producing wonderful wool which they seem happy to share with me once or even twice a year, depending on their breed.

 

shearing

 

Once the raw wool is acquired, there are various steps involved in how I prepare it. It may not look like there are big differences between the steps but each one is a small trans-formative step.

raw (unwashed) wool

raw (unwashed) wool

raw wool opened up by hand to better aid washing process in getting it clean

raw wool opened up by hand to better aid washing process in getting it clean

 

After washing, several steps get it to the point of being ready to card into batts or roving.

freshly washed and air-dryed

freshly washed and air-dryed

opened up by hand again - this time clean wool - which makes it pick better

opened up by hand again – this time clean wool – which makes it pick better

Now, completely opened up both by hand and machine picking, it is ready for the carder!

Now, completely opened up both by hand and machine picking, it is ready for the carder!

Well picked wool will give a better end product from the carder. Here, it goes into the carder.

wool going in carder

What comes out can be batts….

carded

jacob batt

…which can be made, through another trans-formative process – needle felting , into lovely felt or felted rugs.

jacob felt

felt rug

Roving for spinning into yarn can also be made from the transformed wool.

roving

handspun

My friend, Dona, gave me a photo of a sheep with the caption, “I turn grass into wool. What’s your super power?!”

I guess mine is the ability to turn their wool into other things. Thank you to my flock – and to other flocks in our fiber community – for giving me the opportunity to change your wool into beautiful products.

flock

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on March 1, 2016 at 11:22 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good post, Jackie.

  2. Thanks for sharing this process–and thanks to all the fiber creatures who give us so much.

  3. Wonderful story! I’m sending it to all my knitting friends here. Haven’t found any spinners. Thank you Dona and Jackie

  4. The transformation of raw wool into felt or yarn does indeed have something magical about it. It is no less so for being achieved with the help of a big machine powered by electricity: there are still so many steps that require knowlege, skill, experience ; and above all the affinity with the material, the vision – the humility, even, to realize the infinite potential of the raw materials, and the imagination and passion to explore and realize that potential. The great advantage of the machinery Jaclyn has is not the production of greater quantities for less effort (though that is true), it is the potential to reach so many more people and enrich their lives – with the magic of wool!


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