Friday, July 2, 2010

I Really Need to Ask Better Questions

Lanny, my neighbor, and I were talking awhile back. He’s the guy we call Noah because he has at least two of every animal you can imagine on his farm. He mentioned he had some extra wool lying around and wondered if I’d have any use for it.

Well, uh, yeah. Hello!

So that’s been quite some time ago and I’d forgotten all about it. The the other day he called me up and said, “Hey, do you still want that wool?”

“Well, how much do you have?”, I asked.

“Oh, about three bags full.”

This is where I should of asked “How big are the bags?” But I didn’t. Instead I said “Sure, I’ll take ‘em!” Because I envisioned three bags of wool like what you would get at a wool festival or buy at a yarn shop. You know, the size of a medium sized wastebasket.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a commercial wool bag. And I certainly didn’t know they were 16 feet long and five feet wide.

Twenty minutes later Lanny was in my driveway with his pickup COMPLETELY overflowing with wool. An ENTIRE pickup load. That he had to TIE DOWN to keep it from falling out.


That’s a full size ladder in the background of the photo, folks. There is 350 lbs of wool in those bags. THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY pounds.

What on earth am I gonna do with 350 lbs of wool?

It would make great quilt batting. I calculated it out and I can make 140 twin size quilt batts with 350 lbs of wool.


I won’t make 140 quilts in my lifetime, for crying out loud.

I could sell it, but it costs money up front to have it made into batting. Is there even a market out there for locally grown wool batting? Quilters, what do you think?

Anybody have any brilliant ideas on what I should do with my “free elephant”?



Diva Quilts said...

Textile artists would love new wool - for felting for dyeing, for spinning for...all of the above and then including in your art...

If I lived closer to you I'd take a bag off your hands and distribute it to my friends in a textile art club I belong to.

Perhaps there's something simliar in your area?

Vickie said...


I don't have a clue! Do you know anymore people around that you could sell or give pieces of it to that do weaving or felting? Teach a class on it! Sell it on ebay or craigslist in lots. I'll bet there are folks out there that might like to try their hand at doing something like that, but don't have access to wool.

Other than that - put it in the chickens' nest boxes (tee-hee) and they'll never come out! Make some stuffed animals with it for the hospital kids. Make yourself a giant fat comforter for your bed!

There's my 2 cents! Have a great 4th!

knownbyname said...

Ummm... Timidly raising hand... Could I please be Noah's neighbor? I wanna spin this into some amazing yarn to knit with!

What if you sold it on ebay or something? In smaller, more reasonable to ship, quantities? Or send it to me here in Oregon? Yeah! That's a GREAT idea! :)

Okay - going back to my corner and being timid again!

Conny said...

Oh my!! I have no idea what to do with so much wool, but I'm laughing over here ... because the song Baa, Baa, Black Sheep goes:

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep have you any wool? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Three bags full!

And you certainly did get the full 3 bags. That's some predicament. :>)

Donna said...

You could make wool batting and see if any of the quilt shops in your area will sell them. I only try quilting on someone else wool batting once. It felt wonderful and easy to put a needle through.

krisgray said...

Wow! Not sure what part of IN you're in but maybe you could call Conner Prairie in Noblesville and see if they could suggest some groups that might be interested.

Historical Ken said...

Too bad we didn't live closer - in living history circles I could get rid of quite a bit of this for you pretty darn fast!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Oh I'm laughing. Those bags are HUGE. :D
Hope you find a good use for it.
And thanks for visiting my I've discovered yours. :)

deborah said...

Oh wow! Three bags full indeed!
Have you checked into having the wool turned into battings? Then you could sell the battings on eBay or ETSY...or even sell, as someone suggested, the wool in manageable quantities. Wool always sells good.
So many colors! Its like Christmas!

Lisa Martin said...

well I would turn it in to batting... and then sell it to all of us!!! I would love to hand quilt with wool. I have heard that it is very easy to hand quilt with.

Karen Anne said...

I know zero about wool, but how about selling it, unprocessed, on ebay in quantities of a cardboard box full? You could list it and see if there's a market for it.

Tammy said...

Oh, that is too funny! 350 lbs of wool.. my my... Do you have any clues as to what breeds of sheep it came off of? If it is from something like dorset then it would make awesome mattress pads. They are pricey to have done (around 120.00) (and only takes about 10 lbs of wool....) but they have some wonderful theraputic qualities. I love mine. Also as you mentioned, quilt batting. And as others mentioned selling on ebay or etsy or advertising on some of the yahoo groups (there are usually fiber groups for the various states). Raw wool makes great mulch, and a good filler for holes etc. I used a bunch of the skirted rejects to fill in a walkway and put gravel over the top (nice weed barrier). Makes good cat beds, dog beds, you can wash and use it for felting projects and on and on and on (an on with 350 POUNDS of it!!)

Angela said...


Sandra Henderson said...

SPinning wheel

Anonymous said...

You might find some interest from spinners who like to work with raw wool - but they'll have some questions, like what breed of sheep and so on. As mentioned earlier, maybe Ebay? Look at some fibers for sale to get an idea of the kind of questions people will ask you!
And good luck!
Beverly in CA - who spins, but already has a closet full of wool!

Jayne said...

This cracks me up. 350 pounds of wool! Wow!! First you should give away about 10 lbs. apiece to everyone who commented and said they wanted some...then you should make me some cute lil felted bunnies that I saw the instructions for on the web someplace (and now I can't find the link)...and then you can do whatever you want with the 275 pounds or so you have left over. :)

Karen Anne said...

Here are some people shipping wool to the Gulf for use in some oil boom soaking up stuff:

The shipping charges must be fierce though for large amounts. BP should fork out for that.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

My gift of raw wool - only a FRACTION of what you have- turned me into a spinner!


Robin said...

Simply Amazing!!! I liked the comment about a weed barrier, the only problem is you have enough to cover your whole yard. Maybe Ripley's has a category for the biggest batt. Keep us posted about what you actually decide to do...........

Penny said...


Has it been skirted?

You could always send it (in increments) to the Wooly Knob Fiber Mill boys to be made into roving.

Benita said...

Send it to Zeilinger's (a few pounds at a time) to get processed, then sell it.

You spin, right? Wash and spin some of it.

Worse comes to worse, put an ad on SWIFT ( and give it away. I know hundreds of spinners who would love to take some off your hands for their own projects. If you sell it raw and it's mixed breed stuff, you could sell it for anywhere from $5 to $10 per pound (depending on how nice it is).

But keep enough for yourself toplay with.

corinne said...

Well, my shearer gave me a bunch from another flock one year, as it turned out it wasn't great fleece for spinning(I am kind of spoiled with my Shetlands)but it does make great mulch...although, you have to watch it near things like green beans-the fleece gets stuck to the fuzzy beans and then you just have a bunch of hairy beans :(. Insulation?

qltmom9 said...

I would love some. I put wool into pin cushions. Pins go in like into butter.


a simple quilter said...

have been thinking about your wool....have you find a use for it?

If you need to unload some of it we would be interested in using it here at the cabin.