Okay, so I received my new bulk load of freshly clipped Bluefaced Leicester fleeces a few days ago, and I am still sorting and skirting. Again the farmers had a “wet winter” in Britain….well, I lived there for 7 years, and the winters were always wet. But those fleeces…boy will they need some good washing and picking and scrubbing and sorting and washing again and picking again and scrubbing again and …you get the idea, right? The buckets and tubs are filled with soiled curls, the water is now mud brown and will remain mud brown for at least another 3 washes, so this means a loooooooot of work for me. Below is what a regularly dirty fleece straight off the sheep looks like that will also be suitable for handcrafting:

bfl fleece unwashed

Yep, not bad, and I wouldn’t complain if I had to wash and sort this lot. It  is a beauty compared to that one here:

bfl fleece dirty

OH, COME ON!!!!!! :o(    How on earth am I supposed to turn that into something gorgeous like this:

bfl fleece3 

(that’s a Bluefaced Leicester prime fleece I received from 2006’s clipping season.  I hardly had to clean it) ??????????????????????????? The answer is very simple: I can’t.

The wool industry got it rather easy. They just throw everything (really everything) into one big pot and boil it into a pulp, then rinse the big lump of felt and send it through a shredder before carding the wool again….remember, that’s all done by machines….I am not a machine…. So I have ended up throwing away about 20lb of unusable fleece,  fleece that’s only good for composte and a photo to put on my blog.  I am now trying to salvage the other 25 lbs that I will be fighting to get clean. Man, it’s hard work, it really is, I just wish the sheep would have kept themselves out of the muddy fields. Next year I will handpick the fleeces my very self again!!! No more black surprises, thank you very much.

But I also did some nice clean stuff today! Hurray! Here is what I have listed in my ebayUK store , something gorgeously soft and colourful :o)


a yummy 70/30 ultra soft (18micron) Merino/Silk blend, handpainted in dark green and lemon&lime,



A new lot of handpainted super curly Wensleydale locks in reddish brown (sort of chestnut brown) and light apricot,



and a simple but very lovely lot of drumcarded Shetland + drumcarded Merino fleece batt for felting projects and for hand dyeing.


And in my  Etsy shop  I listed this yummy yummy handpainted Merino yarn today, called “NEMO”:


I like those blue and teal shades very much indeed. I keep repeating this colourway throughout the year because I can’t get enough of it!

Okay, back to the fleece tub, let’s see how much more my back can take tonight before I give up ;o)  One thing I can promise though: There will be very clean and very fantastic Bluefaced Leicester fleece and curls coming your way, one way or another!!!!!!!!!!



  1. Girl, that dirty fleece does look like a lot of work! Good luck with it. And your handpainted roving looks soooooo scrumptous!!

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