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September 12, 2011

skirting the fleece

super soft wool

Inspired by Kathy, who is also cleaning a fleece this coming week, I take out a fleece I have in the closet that Fionuala gave us from her sheep and spread it out on a blanket. Lukas and I pick out the dirty pieces, (not too many!) and put the rest in mesh bags to wash. Our hands feel so good after this from all that soft lanolin!

In the washer, we let it soak (but no agitating or the wool will felt) in hot soapy water for 20 minutes to loosen the lanolin, then spin out the water. Then we take out the bags, fill the washer with plain hot water and add the bags again. Once more and we have clean washed wool. It is slightly damp so I set them aside to put out in the sun the next day. Not much sun the next day though, so I just hang them on the line and then spread them out on the porch in the evening.

It’s so exciting to wash the fleece since I’ve never washed one before. Lukas has been practicing his technique on the spinning wheel (ha!) so these coming weeks, we’ll card and spin and maybe do some natural dyes. I think we’ll save some of the crimpy fleece for gnome beards too…

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