Behind our garden, sheep walk in the meadow. White, brown and variegated sheep. Super fun, especially when in the spring the newborn lambs run back and forth and jump up and down. But I never thought those cute animals would totally change my life…

My neighbor tells me that if his sheep are shaved, then nothing is ever done with the wool. Nothing. To him, that shaved wool is nothing but garbage. He therefore gives it to the sheep shearer, who only gets a few pennies per kilo for it.

Throw away? I don’t know what I’m hearing!

I think that’s such a shame, I’m sure I can make all kinds of fun out of their trash.

My creative brain is racing right away, with the idea of a bag full of wool. So if my neighbor asks if I want wool when his sheep are shaved the following spring, I don’t have to think about it for a moment.

And then all of a sudden I had a lot of wool.

I thought, “Nice, sheep’s wool.”

That’s going to be four 😉 So our garden shed is suddenly full of large bags of sheepskins: a white, a brown and two variegated coats.

At that moment, I don’t know what I want to make of all that wool. And I also have no idea how much fun I can do with such a large amount.

I will not be held back by lack of experience

My experience with wool has until then consisted of knitting and hooks with ready-made bulbs of wool. And a small seat I felted in front for a chair.

In other words: my experience with raw wool is limited. Very very limited. Still, that doesn’t stop me from making big plans.

Totally inexperienced as I am I want to ‘just’ felting a rug from the variegated sheep (‘Bonte schapen’) of the neighbor. And then also a very big carpet. While I don’t even know if the wool I have is suitable for that.

Felting, how is that supposed to be?

I don’t even know what to do or can use as a surface when felting. Or how exactly the technique of felting works. That’s why I’m looking for an experienced felt star who can help me do that. Fortunately, she has a felting machine, which is useful for making such a large workpiece.

When the rug is ready, I’ll show the neighbor proudly. It’s the first time something had been made of his sheep’s wool. He loves it.

This is just the beginning

My rug gets a nice spot in my office, which gives that room a completely different look.

Next to me rug on the floor, now almost two years later one wall of that space is completely full of strands of self-spun wool. And my office, although my MacBook also has a fixed place there, is becoming more and more of a real ‘studio’.

Wool of four sheep is a lot of wool

After felting my rug I still have about 3 sheepskins left. And that’s quite a big amount.

I discover that I like the whole process of felting, but only to do it occasionally. Because felting cannot be done quickly in between. You really need to make time for that. And you have to have a separate space for it, in connection with all the water you use during felting.

So I’m going to investigate what else I can and want to make of the wool. And above all: in any way. And with what.

Soon I’m thinking about spiders. On a spinning wheel. Let me fantasize about that…

Read also