Friday, September 14, 2007

fleeecey baby

This past weekend I got out my huge fleece bags and decided it was TIME! Time to get cracking on preparing the fleece for spinning, and eventual jumper knitting!

First up I carded the fleece...
drum carding fleece
Thus opening up the fibers a bit and allowing some of the sand and grot to fall more freely out.

Carding turns the fleece into lovely fluffy batts of fiber - looook!
carded fleece
A lot of people don't card their fleece before hand, and prefer to spin straight from the fleece just shorn from the sheepie! I wanted to put in the extra work though to wash, rinse and dry the fleece - I'm not a huge fan of spinning "in the grease" (lanolin) although it is fun just taking the clumps from the bag of fleece and spinning them straight off - all corrogated with the crimp of the wool - amazing stuff!

So as I was taking them off the drum carder I put them in the laundry trough, which I had filled with hot HOT water, and a little dish detergent.
soak fleece
The fleece fibre batts were left in there to soak their little lanolinny selves til they were nice and clean!

After a time, maybe half an hour/an hour or so, I carefully drained the water out of the sink and removed the fleece (felting the fiber is a BIG risk when you have warm water and soap combined!) - transferring it all to the large tub of clean hot HOT water I had awaiting their rinse!
rinse fleece
I let them soak for a while in that tub too, as I pottered about getting other things done.

When it was time for them to come out, i geeeently squeezed the excess water out and laid them out on the airing rack to dry.
drying fleece
The next day they got a bit of sun time too, basking out in the rays to dry off completely.

And now that batch is done! So I've popped it all into a little freezer bag and squished all the air out to close it nice and tight. I'll keep it all aside until I've carded and cleaned the entire fleece (3kg!!) then I'll card it all again to re-fluff it all, and I'm even planning to card some lovely alpaca through the fleece before I spin it - ooohhhh!! yes, I'm excited too!! ;D

1 comment:

Ann said...

Oh my goodness, so much work. I thought you can spin right away. I am having 2nd thought about spinning or can I buy clean fibres?