A very woolly afternoon

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A very woolly afternoon

What could be lovelier than spending the afternoon with newly sheared wool, home made bread and tweeting birds in the garden?

It all started with a trip to an old farm in Oxfordshire, where the grass was green and the air unbelievably fresh.
A family trip was organised for this particular Saturday which promised lots of activities- who doesn't like some fairy butterfly face paint?- EXACTLY.
The one activity, which captured us instantly, was the wool shearing, of course.
Certain that they would give us the shearing clippers to have a go (where that idea came from I have no clue), we soon discovered that shearing a sheep would require a biceps of a respectable size and without experience would probably end with broken bones and a black eye.
When the kind farmer offered to shear a chosen sheep for us, we were excited and also very relieved to say the least.
A 4kg bag filled with Bluefaced Leicester wool was the result of a wrestle with the sheep and the reason for a proper Wool celebration the week after. 

The garden was ready for an adventure which began with an amazing overwhelming realisation that to clean this amount of wool would probably take us 3 years and two days- if it doesn't rain on Sundays of course.
We couldn't believe how much wool we had and dug right into the loveliness that lay on the table in front of us.

Before discussing whether we should give our fleece a hot-sauna bubble treatment or a gentle rinse we decided to go with the latter. Marthe had previously visited a spinning course back home in Bella Germania where she was advised that one shall never wash wool in boiling hot water.
I guess opinions vary, so do not feel discouraged to experiment. if you have a big fleece hidden under your stairs: GO for it and see what happens. (Just wear rubber gloves for heavens sakes.)

It didn't take us long to develop our little Wollgarten Routine of gently placing the wool into the water, to which we had added a little tea tree wool wash shampoo, and repeat that process until the sun was mirroring the singing birds in it. After 3 rinses our wool looked like angel clouds on rainbows and felt as soft as a sheep...oh wait a minute?!

Amazing! We had laid out a towel on which we gently placed the freshly washed wool.
It was just perfect and super exciting to see our Bluefaced Leicester turn into so much potential.
We started discussing the next steps (vegetable dyes, spinning, more wool and onion skins) over Marthes delicious and lovingly baked home-made bread and decided to meet again soon to continue the wool journey from the beginning to the end. 

We ended the day with The Assembly of Sarellas first Spinning wheel which was symbolically the most amazing way to finish such a lovely and perfect day.
Seriously folks, there is just something about, being surrounded by nature, whilst turning something seemingly unimposing into something magnificent.

Watch our toes tip to the sound of our wheels soon and let the dyeing-spinning adventure commence.

Lots of Love and sunshine always,

Your Gardeners