Monday, September 19, 2005

Fibre Adventures...

I spent last weekend in Yorkshire with D's folks. There was also a BBQ and some socialising with friends we have up there, so no time for any knitting-related adventures. I managed to spin up some yarn though, that D and I dyed with Koolaid a while ago, much to the fascination of my in-laws. My father in law actually wanted to try spinning. He gave up almost instantly, but still!!

I was quite hung-over when we got back here yesterday, so the work that I had planned to get done yesterday afternoon got postponed to this morning. Instead, I managed to wash some of the fleece that Carolyn sent me last week. And I even have pictures! :)

OK, this is the unwashed fleece. I only washed a small part of it because I didn't want to risk dumping the entire load in water and accidentally felting it all. What you see here is Kid Mohair - 3rd clip Kid Mohair, to be precise - and even before it was washed it was lovely and silky soft, albeit rather stinky:

I picked the mohair over a bit to remove vegetable matter and very very caked bits. Then I got it ready for its wash. I used a laundry bag to contain the fleece because I was worried about a) loss of fibre in the sink, and b) my drains getting blocked. This means that I now need to buy a new laundry bag for my bras, but that's a small sacrifice to make. ;)

What I did was fill the sink with very very hot water - literally as hot as I could get it, and then I also emptied a kettle full of boiling water into it. I squirted in aproximately 1 cup of washing up liquid (after filling the sink so it doesn't produce to many bubbles), which I read you should use to get the lanolin out of the fleece. Then I placed the bag with the fleece gently on top of the water and dipped it in with the help of a spoon. It takes a while to submerge it, but it's all very exciting because you can literally see the lanolin dissolving into the water. Within minutes the water was beige...

I let the fleece rest in there for a while, then took it out and drained the water. Filled the sink again with hot water, placed the fleece in it to rinse it. After 10 minutes or so, I removed the bag again and drained the water away. I repeated this several times, each time making the water less hot so you cool the fleece down gently. For the last rinse I used cold water. I then removed the fleece, squeezed it gently while still in the laundry bag, then spread it out on an old dish towel, gently pulling the tufts apart, and left it to dry:

And this is the result - lovely, tufty, non-greasy, and white fleece. I will try to wash the rest of the fleece over the next week or so. :)


  1. Anonymous8:43 pm

    It looks like hard work but the result is fantastic!

  2. The washed fleece is so beautiful!

  3. Anonymous11:42 pm

    It looks so pretty, like a poodle!

  4. That looks beautiful!

  5. Wow!! I want to play!! It looks lovely. Ok daft question from me-why do you need to get the lanolin out?

  6. That looks beautiful - worth the effort.

  7. Ooh, you don't want to come over and wash a few goats do you? We could do with you when the showing season starts :)

    It's looking great so far! Shame it doesn't look like that when it's on them.

  8. Ohhh Ohhh Iris !! You lucky so & so !!

    Kid locks are like gold dust up this way, i think i'd find getting blood from a stone easier !