Sunday, January 22, 2006

I've Been Fleeced

I received much helpful advice on fleece puchasing from my previous query - I thank you all. Once again, Adrian has proven that she is my spinning fairy godmother. After a nice email exchange, she packed up a box for me so I could get a sampling of different raw fleeces from her own stash. The box arrived Thurs, and I was so excited to open it. Adrian not only sent me little bundles of 4 different fleeces (including llama!) but all kinds of little baggies with fun stuff to play with blending, like silk noils, soy silk, some angora, and all kinds of other goodies - I am in awe of her kindness and generosity.

I set out to wash the bag you see above - about 6oz of raw Romney fleece. Here it is set free (and yes, it smells wonderful - rich, thick, sheepy scents - my husband thinks I'm a freak, but PumpkinBoy seemed to really enjoy seeing, smelling and touching the wool.)

A little pre picking and sorting later, I put it in a hot hot bath with a good dose of dish soap:

Ick. Pretty gross, huh? I would not recommend this to anyone who is easily freaked by some"natural" griminess. Luckily, that is not me.

I seem to have failed to take a picture of the cleaned wool prior to carding (WTF!?), but here are two shots that reinforce the idea that if dirt and grime freak you out, you should not be doing this. Here is my leg after carding for a little while, as well as the paper towel I kept in my lap to protect my pants.

As I sat watching the BBC on PBS last night, (can I just say, I'm so glad they've started airing Coupling again - I adore this show, and was so sad when they pulled it so that American television could butcher it) I carded it all up, and here it is ready and waiting in fluffy little rolag clouds.


Blogger msubulldog said...

I am so interested to see your progress from raw fleece. My sweet hubby bought me a huge bag of llama when I first started knitting and I don't know what the heck to do with it! (I mean, I know I need to wash it and card it, etc. but I want to make sure I do it "right" and have something useable when I'm done.)
I would expect it to be dirty, but I am agog to see how much came out in carding!
Thanks for keeping such detailed posts. Looking forward to more!

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Wow, I can't believe you got that beautiful clean fluffy stuff from that dirty yukky fleece! You even made it look like fun.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Hey, good job! Looking forward to the spun version.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

That looks awesome! How long did that take?

7:50 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Oh, fluffy clouds so pretty!

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

Congrats on processing your first batch of raw fiber! It's surprising how different the color is from start to finish. Have you spun Romney before?

9:02 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I just got a bag of raw llama from my friends llama's and I have know idea what to do with it! In the spring I will get some raw fleece from her sheep and now thanks to your illustration I know what to look forward too. How fun! I can't wait. I am so amazed at the transformation from raw wool to fluffy white rolags! Thanks!

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

That does look nice. Maybe I should give Romney another try. I have something against it, although I can't remember why right now.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

How fun. I'd love to do that someday. As a ranch girl, I've seen a lot of natural griminess and this wouldn't even tip the scales. It looks to my uneducated eye that you did a marvelous job.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love a little dirt. It looks great! Did you hand card all of that? Wow! Can't wait to see it spun!

Beth (big geek)

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Adrian said...

That was pretty clean fleece, too! I skirted so you didn't get any actual pieces of poo. You can thank me later for that. :p

Your carded wool looks glorious.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

Wow! That's all I can say. What a lot of work, but the result is amazing. And the finished yarn is gorgeous.

10:55 AM  

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