Today, we carded wool, spun yarn, and died the yarn with marigolds that we grew in our garden. This was really fun! This was my first time every dying something with natural dyes and now I want to experiment more with other plants and flowers. I ordered the sheep wool from Etsy. For our Sweden unit, we used Icelandic sheep wool, and this time we used Shetland sheep wool.
Here is a portion of Susannah Hawkins (who Evelyn is representing this year) description of her childhood.
“We had four cows, we had a few sheep, and the wool we took from [them] we used. [We] would take it in a basket and would put it in the creek and wash it until clean. Then we laid it out on the grass to dry, after which we would pick it then grease it, send it to the carding mill and have it made in to rolls. Then [we] would spin four skeins each day on the old spinning wheel. Then wash the yarn and color with rabbit brush which was yellow and blue dye to make it green. Also [we] had grey rolls made of the black sheep, then we would send it to be woven into cloth. Some would be left white to make our blankets. We also used madder for red which when woven with the white warp made cloth. I spun enough to make jeans to make father and the boys suits, being twenty yards.”
Here’s a bonus video of Evelyn and Roxanne carding and spinning.