I haven’t been doing much knitting lately. Instead I’ve been washing fleece. While at the MSWF, I bought more then one fleece. I was so excited about it. The only step closer I could have gotten to wool would have been owning a sheep, which will never happen since I live in Florida. So, I packed my bags up, went to the airport and headed home. One of the bags had nothing in it but the fleece I bought. I was wondering if it was going to get inspected and what the inspectors would have thought about a bag full of wool that had just came off the sheep. Fortunately, it didn’t happen. Which I have to mention here, that this was the first time I’ve flown out of the Baltimore airport and did not have my checked in bags inspected. The last time they inspected my bag is when I got my spinning wheel. They didn’t pack it back in as gently as I did and they broke it. I was so upset but was able to fix it and recovered quickly once I started to use it. Anyway I got home after midnight, the flights were delayed because of bad weather in Orlando. Even though it was late I had to pull out my fleece to make sure it was still there.
Rohan loves this stuff. I mean he loves it! I couldn’t keep his head out of the bag.
Rohan has a bad history with wool. When he was a puppy he ate the heel out of the first pair of socks I ever made. I was devastated. Not only was it the first sock I ever made but the first project I ever completed. Of course, first I yelled at him then I wouldn’t play with him. I think he knows better now, but I don’t trust him. He now has this routine he does. He will usually put his nose as much in the middle of the fiber as possible and start breathing deeply. If I let him continue he will gently start putting the wool in his mouth. If it’s a ball of yarn he will bring it to me. It is almost as if he is asking me if he can have it. This is where I take it away from him. I usually put any animal fibers up out of his reach when I’m not around to watch him. I don’t want the sock issue to come up again.
Back to the fleece, as soon as I could I decided to start washing this stuff. I have never done this before or seen anybody else do it. So, I did what anybody else would do in this situation, I looked on the internet for information on how to clean it. I found this page. Looks simple enough right? So, I layed the fleece out and took some of the ickiest stuff off first. This was around the bottom. I figured since I didn’t know what I was doing and had a pretty good chance of screwing this up that I would start with the dirtiest stuff first. I think I must have gotten fleece off of the dirtiest sheep out there. It must have lived near a mud puddle. It took me 15 rinsings before the water was clear. At this point I’m starting to think, what have I gotten myself into. I have a lot more fleece to wash then just this first batch. I must have been intoxicated beyond reason by the smell of wool while at the MSWF, to have bought all this fleece. So, I went to the spin-list for help and noticed a post from somebody else that must have done the same thing as me. One of the comments to her was to wash it in smaller batches. Ok, that sounds good. Whew, much better. The water starts to run clear after the third rinse. However, as I sit here writing this I still have at least four more batches of the first fleece to wash and another whole fleece to do. While in the middle of all this washing I decided to go ahead and try and brush some of this out to see what it looks like. After doing this for about an hour I’ve decided I need a drum carder. This hand carding stuff is to slow for me. So, I am now on the search for a drum carder.
Here is some of the fleece so far. To the right is the unwashed fleece, middle washed and to the left the combed out fleece. There is 10 pounds of it from a corriedale/lincoln sheep.
I did mention I have not been knitting very much but Dax has. Here is her current project. She is working on a tank top/ camisole pattern from Tess. The ribbon yarn is also from Tess.
Colorful isn't it? I keep wondering if Dax is going to go through a black stage, you know when she will not wear anything but black. She definetly isn't in that stage, yet. Tess' Designer yarns are lovely. Dax was not the only one in our group that spent money here.
I also wanted to comment real quick to Jennifer, who asked how I back up my pictures. I have a dvd/cd burner and use the software called Nero to burn my pictures to a cd.
I hope everybody is having a good week. We have two more days of school left here. One if you don't count today, Yippeeee.