Spinning

Let’s do a little experiment

I’m very excited to have bought a White Faced Woodland sheep fleece to have a play with.

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I really enjoy learning about where my wool comes from and how it gets from sheep to something I can knit with so as soon as I could spin I knew I wanted to go as far back in the process as I could (not sure I’m going to be allowed my own sheep though).

I suspect there are easier fleece to start with (I have since learnt what to avoid and what to look for but this was a very good price and so it won’t matter if it all goes a bit wrong).

Today I have weighed off 112g after having plucked off the worst of the VM (that’s vegetable matter to you and me) and the annoying little second cuts (those are bits that have been clipped twice and can’t be spun as they are too short), it’s now having a soak in some fairy liquid and hot water.

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It needs to sit in this for about 30 to 40 minutes completely undisturbed to avoid felting, I’ll then carefully remove it and run another “bath” the same temp to give it a second soak. It then needs to be rinsed in the same temperature water but just water. I’ll do that a couple of times too and then hopefully put it all outside to dry. It needs to be as undisturbed as possible and the water temperature needs to stay as constant as possible as any sudden changes will shock the wool and cause it to felt.

The weather isn’t looking too keen at the minute so it might just be a lay out flat in the house but I’m looking forward to seeing it all clean and dry and will update on here as I carry on.

Happy Easter 🐰

 

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7 thoughts on “Let’s do a little experiment

  1. Have fun 🙂 This brings back memories. I ought to buy fleece direct from the farm, but after removing all the bits I didn’t want (put in bucket, the water is great for feeding your plants with the added ‘nutrients’) and then I washed the rest of the fleece in the bath. Needs something large enough to let you swish it around to clean without matting. Then I used to put it on the washing line in cotton bags or clean old sacks (can get you get proper sacks these days?) and leave it to dry on a decent day, took perhaps 2 days in all. I always stored in my loft (hooks on beams) in case of any thing that might hatch and hadn’t been washed away (rare but can happen) as I didn’t want moths in the house. I still love the smell of clean fleece, brings back happy memories of a spinning and knitting business many moons ago.

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  2. when I washed the fleece, I soaked it all first in cold water outside, in closed container, overnight…. that rinsed lots of dirt, and made the actual washing much easier. Also I use my washing machine to get rid of as much water as possible. I tested it first with small batch, and it turned out my gentle spinning cycle works well. It does make drying wool in wet weather much faster… When I dye small batches I actually use a little cheap plastic centrifuge for drying salad (no idea what is the proper name) 😀

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      1. it’s not the wash cycle, but the spinning only…. you need to make sure there is no additional water being pumped into the machine…. and i usually use the laundry nets for washing wool. it makes it easier to get the batches in and out of water….

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