May the Fleece be With You

Yeah, I know- I’m a day late for the Star Wars tie-in.

But I’m very pleased to have finally gotten Dottie’s heavy coat off of her.
It was not an easy feat- we wrestled for a while, and in the end I had to call for backup- with an extra pair of hands (The Man) keeping her under control I was able to get her tidied up.

Crazy amounts of wool on that girl!

About a third of it went straight in to the suint bath that I started last weekend with seconds from Esther’s fleece.

I’d almost forgotten about the suint bath method, but was reminded of it by a recent podcast by Lydia Christiansen of Abundant Earth Fiber.

I used the lesser quality parts of Esther’s fleece to get it going- left it for 6 days. The wool that came out on Saturday looks pretty good now that it’s had a couple of rinses. It’s still drying, but seems nice and clean, except for some tips that are still a little bit junky.

Now that the suint mixture is charged up, I might use it to do a fair bit of the wool washing this year. Takes a while, but it really low-input.

This weekend also saw another improvement to chicken infrastructure- introducing the Chicken Atrium!

Still hope to move entirely away from netting at some point this summer, but this is a step in the right direction!

And Welsie is still sitting on her eggs, (due date is May 15).

In knitting news, I’ve got some cool mittens on the needles right now, but this post is already getting kind of long.
I’ll show you a interesting new mitten finishing technique I’m working on next week-


  1. Michelle

    Long posts from you are lovely!

    I need to study up on the suint method, as I have some VERY old fleeces that I’d like to clean and try combing. I didn’t realize the water is kept.

  2. Michelle

    I just listened to the podcast and wondered if you got more information elsewhere, since she doesn’t advise soaking it for more than 24 hours or reusing the water.

    • denisemor

      yes, i’ve read about the fermented suint method in a number of places (there is a long thread in the Ravelery Fiber Frep group, and a detailed blog post at ) and had done it before, but Lydia’s poscast brought it back to mind. I forget if she said she was reusing the bath or not. If not, then 24 hours seems like more of a cold soak than a suint bath. It really takes more than 24 hours to get the bath “charged” so-to-speak. But if you’ve got a strong suint solution established, 24 hours might be enough for some subsequent fleeces.

    • denisemor

      thanks Donna- Dottie is always kind of a handful when it comes to shearing, but I was really pleased that she wasn’t felted. And I think her color is a little deeper than last year.


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