In the Grease


| 7/9/2018 3:05:00 PM


Tags: handspinning, fiber arts, yarn, sheep, fleece, wool, handmade clothing, Ontario, Canada, Jennifer Huhta,

Lanolin-rich but clean water spun out

Lanolin rich, but clean fleece.

My very first raw fleece was a beautiful silver Gotland from a spinner’s flock here in Ontario. I remember opening it up with trepidation, inexperience leading me to expect a putrid, filthy mess.

Instead a cascade of beautiful liquid silver curls tumbled out onto the tarp and my first thought was that I wanted to jump right into it. Literally. It called to me to run my hands through the silky curls and for the first time I was tempted to spin raw wool straight off of the sheep. Then my olfactory senses kicked in and I washed it.

I had no further desires to spin “in the grease” until a shepherdess in British Columbia from whom I purchased some beautiful Romney fleece recommended that I refrain from scouring it and simply wash it, and then spin in the grease. When the fleece arrived I was once again taken in by the gorgeously clean fleece. There was very little dirt or VM (vegetable matter, what we call the bits of feed, bedding, etc. that ends up embedded in the fleece) and so I thought I’d try it. I’m so glad I did.



The fiber felt amazing on my hands while spinning and again later while knitting it. My swatch lives beside my bed where I look at and feel it often. I am looking forward to washing and spinning the remaining Romney to create some amazing garments.






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