Friday, August 8, 2014

Fleece Washing, again

A month or so ago, one of my weaving friends, Betsy, gave me a couple of Jacob's sheep fleeces.  I kept them upstairs in the studio, sniffing gleefully whenever I would pass them.  (Such a nice sheepy smell.)  This past week I have been taking a lock or two at a time and washing them in different ways, and using different soaps/detergents, to see what I felt was the best way to handle these particular fleeces.

The fleece is really dirty, (this sheep had fun), but the fleece comes clean really quite easily.  I really liked how clean the locks got with Orvus paste, but I was not in any mood to clean this fleece lock by lock.

I took some tulle I had on hand and cut it into pieces large enough to wrap around a line of locks.  I ended up with 8 pieces of tulle, and last evening I loaded them up, in anticipation that I would be able to do some washing today.
 I filled little buckets with really hot water, then I added about 1 Tablespoon of Orvus paste.  I took 4 of the packets and I rolled them up jelly roll style with the tips of the locks all pointing in the same direction.  I placed these rolls tip down in the hot soapy water, and I left it for about 15 minutes.  I carefully took the rolls out of the dirty water, emptied the buckets in the yard, then I rinsed the buckets and filled them again with plain hot water to do a rinse.
Once again I did a soapy soak, with a little less soap, then a rinse with a little bit of vinegar, and then one final plain water rinse.

 I hung the little packets out to dry on one of the chairs on the porch, and proceeded with my other projects.  By the time I was done with my day, the packets were ready to be put upstairs in the studio, on the sweater dryers.
Tomorrow I will unpack them and see how clean they came before I do anymore.  The last rinse water was quite clear, and I used a lot less water than I normally would have, (and a lot less heavy lifting!) so if the locks are in good shape, I may have found my new favorite way to wash fleece.

I like how I can keep the locks in an organized form, and that I can also sort them  for length and colors as I wash them.  (Jacob's sheep have several colors in each fleece.)  This fleece combs up beautifully!  This combed sample of the white part of the fleece is from the locks I did earlier this week.

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina



Friday, August 1, 2014

Glamour Shots

It had been a little while, life can easily get in the way!  Anyway, here are the latest shots of the 2 Nigora Wethers we have here on the "farm".

First the oldest at just over 5 months, Ernie:



Just look at that fleece!  It should shed out white, that red you see is the guard hairs that are protecting the lovely fuzzy stuff.














Next is Bert, who at a mere 2.5 months hasn't started his fleece for the year yet.

His fleece will be white as well.  Berts Mom, gave up a beautiful white fleece this last spring.  I sent it to my friend Linda since she had done the feeding and tending of that fleece.

Linda came just before we went on vacation, and she took her two goats home, so I am down to the ones that belong to me.

I am keeping all the Nigoras that will shed out white, and Linda seems to be keeping the ones that shed out a soft gray or soft tan.  It is really quite lovely!





That is it for now, I will try to get some shots of Bert's fleece as it comes in, I hope it is the same loveliness as Ernie's is!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Weaving and Knitting, Tina