Yesterday I spent my whole lunch break out on the back lawn of my workplace, working on sorting and separating the drawstring bag full of fleece I have washed up. I took advantage of the natural light to take some pictures while I was working, as well, so I can show you better the difference between the tog and the þel.
This picture here shows the fleece before separating – but it happens to be a section of it that doesn’t have very much tog in it. I’ll get a picture of some that has more tog in it fairly soon, hopefully, and also some pictures of what it looks like before washing. There’s a bit of tog in this one though – middle of the picture vertically, a little right of centre. The bits that are more curly and a bit darker are the tog.
This next picture shows all the locks of tog I’ve separated out. There may be a bit too much þel attached to them, judging from the abundance of fluffy white stuff on the left side though. I can further pull more of the þel out if need be though.
Here I wanted to see how long one lock of tog was, to compare with a picture that my friend Marianne had sent me to demonstrate how long it could be on a good fleece. I didn’t have a measuring tape with me, but I did have my keychain with its piano lanyard on it, so I took a picture compared to that so I could measure it later. The lanyard itself is 16 inches long when folded in half, which is about 40cm. It turned out that this tog is just as long as the tog from Marianne’s picture! These really are some darned nice fleeces I’m working with.
And finally, a picture of the three piles together. On the left top, the unseparated fleece. On the top right, the þel after the tog is pulled out, and in the middle bottom is the pile of just tog. I’m going to save the tog for another project in the future – it might be suitable for spinning up a little thicker and then naalbinding into mittens, since the tog will make for very sturdy items, and a bit more waterproof too. We’ll see how much of it I have after I finish separating all 3 fleeces that I have.
I’m already starting to think that I might need to reserve a couple more fleeces from next year’s shearing… coloured ones this time. Icelandic sheep come in all sorts of different colours – white, black, grey (which is actually a white þel coat and a coloured tog coat – it can be either black or brown), brown… and then there’s all sorts of stuff about the different patterning that Icelandic sheep can have (spotting, Badgerface, mouflon, etc.) and I haven’t even begun to understand how all that works so I’m just not even going to talk about that yet. Maybe I can talk one of my Icelandic friends who know lots about sheep into writing a guest post for me. 🙂