Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wool Washing, a WIP

This is a summer long process.  Washing fleeces.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a sheep shearing day at a fairly local Dorset farm.  I received 5 BIG black garbage bags FULL of fleeces.  2 sheep fit in one bag.  10 whole fleeces.  10!!  So I took the liberty of only using the best parts, the parts that would be the easiest to clean and give me the nicest yarn (Thank you Master spinners course for teaching me this valuable lesson!!)  Still I've got more fleece then I know what to do with from that.

me and one big baby!

And my wonderful Father bought me 4 bags of Polypay fleece. Man is that the most interesting fiber.  It's practically elastic!!  I can't wait to play with it in a full skein.
And I bought myself a beautiful BFL fleece.  Oh, let me tell you, she's a gorgeous fleece!

This is my little corner of the yard.  with 2 lovely big basins to wash in! Fabulous!

My corner of the yard

washing wool

But, with all this fleece comes a lot of work!  First you must sort and remove the veg. (hay and feed and other lovelies the sheep pick up from the field) Then soak it in soapy water and rinse, and soak and rinse, and soak and rinse.... I only do it 3 times, no matter how dirty the last rinse comes out.   

eeeeew dirty sheep water!
Okay, so that's only after the first wash.  But still.  It's dirty work too!

Otherwise it'd take me all day! Then the drying!  oh the drying.  This is the part that drives me nuts!  It seems to take so long!  And with wool holding 30% moisture and still feeling dry, you have to wait an extra day, just to be sure.
dry wool dry!!

I've done 3 big wash loads of wool so far this summer.  And I've got at least 5 more.  And not to mention, all the wool we received with the course.  I just hope the weather holds out!

Oh and to satiate my need for color, I solar dyed some silk scarves!  oooh pretty!
silk scarves in the wind

~Kara

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