Shearing time

The soap is technically ready to use but I’m too nervous to try it. I’ll let Andy try a few bars and make sure it won’t burn my skin off or leave any kind of dangerous rash or poison me before I use it. I made 2 different batches and decided to wait before making any more in order to make sure they actually work. Andy’s brave and honest and I need a brave and honest soul to test out my newest craft obsession before I move forward. After all, I didn’t even know what ‘trace’ was before I delved into my first soap making soirée. In fact, I couldn’t really tell you what it means now, because it’s still a foreign language to me, but if you’re a soap maker then you know what I’m talking about.

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Speaking of foreign languages and new hobbies and obsessions, we are shearing the Jacob sheep in a couple of days. Technically a professional is shearing the sheep because we sheared 2 of them when they first arrived after almost dying and taking Andy with them on their trip home (see ‘the great sheep escape’ or the ‘miracle on the interstate’ or whatever I entitled that post for more info). Anyway, after that rough chop shop of a shearing job we did and cutting the poor girls one too many times, we decided to spare their skin and have someone who actually knows what they’re doing come out and show us the ropes.

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She’ll be here on Friday afternoon and on Saturday I’m going to a friend’s place in Augusta to watch the shearer in action again and to help with the beginning steps of cleaning a raw fleece. Then, the plan is to send off some of the fleeces to a professional (fiber mill) to be processed into yarn and handle a few of the raw fleeces ourselves. This new culture of fiber farming is absolutely fascinating. Do you know the work it takes to get a wool fleece off of an animal and into a pair of socks?! No? I sure don’t. I’ve never done it. If you have then please move to Emanuel county ga so we can be neighbors and you can show me your ways, because skirting, carding, roving, spinning, suint water, worsted, 2 ply, hand spinning, spinning wheel, carders, felting and all of those other terms have just opened my eyes to the fact that I am absolutely clueless when it comes to fiber farming.

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I don’t even know how to knit, but I am determined to make a wool hat and eventually some socks out of this deal. This should be interesting and I’ll keep you posted because that’s what a blog is for, right?

XO.

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