Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to seperate lanolin from wool

While washing a Border Leicester fleece yesterday with my friend Sue she asked "how do we separate the lanolin to use in bath and beauty products..." Good question Sue! I had no idea besides that it came off in the washing process. So today I researched it! I found a few good websites with directions.'s-Wool

For those who are unfamiliar, lanolin is also refereed to as wool wax or wool grease. It is a yellow waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Lanolin is used in most of the beauty products we use daily. 
 Lanolin has a waterproofing property that aids sheep in shedding water from their coats. It also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that protect the sheep's skin from infection.
I find that you can see the lanolin best on a white fleeced animal but you can sure feel it in most wools! 

Step one- Fill a large pot with hot water (pot should be large enough to fit your wool) 

Step two- Put the raw wool in a laundry bag and place in pot

Step three- Add salt (1-3 tablespoons) 

Step four- Bring water to a steady boil for a few hours. Do not leave wool unattended. Add water as needed.

Step five- Remove wool from water and place in a container to dry. (Water is very hot so do this with gloves and tongs) 

Step six- Continue to boil water until it all evaporates. What is left is the lanolin! 

Step seven- Pour the leftover lanolin though cheese cloth or muslin. This will remove dirt and debris. 

Step eight- Allow lanolin to cool then jar! 

Your done! 

I am very excited to start collecting my own lanolin since I don't like anything to go to waste! I even use the skirted fiber for mulch in my garden and the birds love it! 

This is a picture of the Border Leicester we worked on all clean:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trump the Angora Rabbit

Meet Trump

Trump belongs to my good friend Sue Polley and her daughter Karen. 
He is a rescue angora rabbit and is blind in one eye. He has amazing fiber! 

Sue his owner tells me Trump is a very mellow bunny. He lives under (in a separate cage) of Jack who is Erin's (her other daughter's) Mini Satin. They do not get along, but that is not on Trump's part. Every time they put them together Jack would "hump" Trump's face. Poor little guy! She think he would get along with others. He is not bothered by their dogs or the chickens when he is out and about.
Also he was used to breed. She was told when She adopted him that he as blinded during a breeding accident. The girl bunny apparently did not like what he was trying to do and scratched him in the eye and that is how he ended up blind.

I used my Fancy Kitty medium cloth drum carder to first make the batts. 
I blended about 50% merino with the angora. I didn't have a lot so I wanted to make it stretch as much as I could. I think next time I will bump down the amount of merino because I believe it over powered the angora. Next time I am planning on doing 25-30% merino. 

I love the way the two fibers look together. It reminds me of smoke or marble. 

I am really happy with this yarn. Its average 7wpi which makes it a bulky yarn. It is approx 134 yards. I don't know what I will make with it yet.
 Any suggestions?