Today E.S.S.A.A. hosted a fiber arts workshop as part of the Synergy Conference at Evergreen. Through this workshop we brought the wool sheared from our sheep to those in the Evergreen community who want to use it. A local fiber artist led the workshop and shared her knowledge and resources with us.
We started with dirty wool from our sheep.
The first step was to sort the wool into 'really dirty' and 'reasonably dirty' piles.
Everyone learned how to wash wool. It went quickly with so many hands!
While the wool was soaking, we learned how to make and use drop spindles with old CDs.
After the wool was washed we learned about carding. On the left is un-carded, freshly washed wool. The extra fluffy wool on the right is what the same wool looks like when it has been carded.
This is a drum carder. We also got to experiment with hand carders, but the drum carder certainly cards faster.
Then, the wool was ready to be spun. Look how white and fluffy it was! Like sheep-scented cotton candy.
Everyone who wanted to got a chance to try spinning on a spinning wheel. Spinning wheels are so much fun. If you haven't tried one, I thoroughly recommend it. I am still very much an amateur but I had a blast.
And, just to show you what our sheep can do, here is a sock made out of their wool. Pretty cool.