I am kind of having my own mini blog week this week. The early morning sunshine has been waking me up early so I have been doing a post each morning in the time I would usually go back to sleep.
This morning I had a bit of a crisis. I logged into blogger and it told me I didn't have any blogs, would I like to start one?
This resulted in a bit of a panic, I thought it was gone forever. Fortunately after the computer inexplicably turned itself off and on again the blogs returned, so I don't have to remake them. Relieved is not the word!
On to the fibery goodness. Today's ramblings are going to be about fleece washing. I talked about this a lot last year as I did my first fleece. This the cleaning portion of the fleece I discussed sorting a couple of weeks back.
The locks came out of the bucket kind of like a jelly from a mold (jello to anyone in the US), but obviously much less tasty.
This did make it easy to peel off a thin layer of locks and put it into a washing bag.
The shower was set to cold and low pressure and the bag of locks rinsed. That's right, straight onto the fleece. This gets masses of dirt out. Best not to think about what the dirt is. A few squeezes and flips to make sure that as much as possible had gone.
Heat and soap are needed to remove the lanolin. One bucket of hot soapy water and a couple of bags of locks. Leave for ten minutes or so (that bit sounds like a recipe)
Two rinsings in hot but non soapy water clear a lot of the remaining soap and lanolin.
Finally a spin in an old salad spinner shifts a lot of the water. This is a big improvement as it dried in a single sunny day rather than the two or three days it takes without a spin.
The bags were hung on the line to dry and are now waiting to be carded.
I have not yet decided if I am going to do more fleeces. I have a lot to card and spin but after that I might go back to purchased roving. While it is good to have experienced the process it takes a lot of hours to get a smallish quantity of usable fluff, and honestly roving for standard breeds is not overly expensive, especially if you priced up all the hours it takes to sort, wash and card.