Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Almost a wool winder!

You may remember that GFMelissa gave me a fleece from Shepherd's Harvest. It was a spur of the moment gift to her from another friend who came to the festival for the first time.

And it was pretty obvious that she was overcome by the festival atmosphere - she bought the fleece off one of the sheep-shearing exhibition sheep. Instead of letting the shearer bundle it up properly with the cut ends outside, she just stuffed it all into a trash bag. Then it rattled around in that plastic bag for a couple of months. So it was pretty beat up and dirty when I pulled it out of the bag on Monday for a little fiber inspection.

Big and dirty. Brown, black and grey all in one package. To start with, I shook the fleece and most of the taggy (read: poo-filled) ends just fell off. I'm sure I sacrificed a lot of good fleece as well but my kitchen just isn't set up for that. The dog really loved that trash bag of poo/vegetable matter, though! Then, I broke the fleece apart into three separate sections where the fleece types seemed to differ.

Working with the sectioned fleece, I pulled it apart on table, pulled out locks and used a dog comb to comb out the ends. I wore a heavy plastic glove on the hand that held the locks because I kept combing my knuckles - ow! I layered netting in the plastic laundry basket and made little sausages of fleece locks  which I then rolled up and tied together.

I tried to keep the color division when I made the fiber sausages. One of the sections was grey/light brown; one dark brown and one very black section with coarse white guard hairs.

This last section was very pretty but very coarse.

All in all, I got cleaned half the total fleece. I didn't get around to photographing the washing process but it involved a lot of soap and water and several rinses. We'll see how it all turns out . . . Mr. Daisy really liked that brown color so I'll have to see how much I have when I'm done washing the whole thing.

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