Monday, 5 August 2013

More Fleece Adventures

So in the midst of the sudden downturn in weather there was a nice day last week. Coinciding with a day where I had no plans or jobs that would have me running in and out of the house so I could give the slow process of washing fleece a try. 

My Bowmont fleece was lovely and soft, but greasy, and the creamy colour was almost creeping into orange. Some people spin in the grease but I really wanted some of that lanolin out! So it was hot wash time. Some people use mesh bag, so when hubby wanted to toss out a mesh bag that held a set of toy golf clubs for the boy... it got commandeered. So hot wash time. I ran my sink as hot as it would go, added a swish of fairy, split my fleece into three, tucked a third into the bag and prayed I didn't felt it!

Not quite what the bag was made for, but it worked. And I was surprised at how little dirt came out of the fleece. Obviously clean sheep! The tips remained dirty even after two hot detergent washes and 1 hot rinse. But I knew that would card and spin out. I didn't rinse further because the  fleece was now lovely and white and the detergent had rinsed out nicely and I was happy with it. And trying to do as little as possible and not felt it!

So it turns out the boy's climbing frame makes a good drying rack:

So once I had all of the fleece washed and dried I took a handful and got out the carders. The little bit of vegetable matter still in the tips made it easy to pull out locks and load the carders, and soon my small handful had made four lovely little rolags. I'd managed to leave just a little lanolin in the fleece, just enough to make spinning easy. So I got out my spindles to have a test spin.

I love this spindle, its from Wildcraft, and its so hard to get a picture of it, but inside the clear resin whorl are tiny little bubbles and two small barely there feathers. Its stunning and I love it. I can admit I didn't take my time about spinning, just literally spun the fibre by feel. It drafted beautifully, was soft and crimpy. And spun up fine so very nicely with no effort whatsoever. I did a rough chain ply and made a little mini skein from the singles to give a light fingering three ply.

Its so soft and bouncy and wonderful! I have well over 200g of  washed fleece left, all ready to card and spin for a nice project later! Very, very pleased.  Mostly that I didn't felt it! It came out perfect. There's definitely more fleece in my future!

Till next time

Kat xxx

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