Monday, May 30, 2011

A Fine Fleeece for Me!

Okay! I know; it is a slippery slope this knitting/spinning/fiber craft. You slide down the knitting slope to fall into the spinning crevice. You dig your way through to spinning success only to find that you are at the summit of another slope: buy and cleaning fleeces. What more can I say? Nothing! Here are the photos:



Here you see the fleece in bags AFTER the skirting and picking that I did. Now mind you, this is my first fleece. I was not sure about what parts to keep and such, so I hope I did okay. I got this lovely fleece from Three Fates Farm in Crete, IL. I was so happy to find a sheep farm with fleeces for sale so close to home. 11 miles away! Thank you to Dr. Karen for her kindness and for allowing me and my two short people into her home to view fleeces. The good doctor has a menagerie of animals including a handsome tom turkey and lamas too! I got a 6 lb. leicester longwool fleece! You know that fleece from the Golden Fleece stories? Well, it is curly like that!!! As you can see, I am using a dog rake and comb for the flick carding. So far, they work pretty well.



Here is my team of cleaning power: Ivory dish liquid, some Borax to soften our water, vinegar to cut the suds down a notch, and Dove Condition to soften the locks. The conditioner and borax ideas I got from a post on the Spinning Daily forums. It makes the carding a bit easier.



Wash and rinse 3 times, with the final rinse being with the conditioner. I let each wash/soak period last for 20 minutes. Finally, they are ready to dry!

I flick card the locks. I do this outside because all of the left over veggie matter comes falling off. The final product looks like this:



Pretty, huh? And soooooooooooooo soft!

Can you believe that I had the nerve to say that I would NEVER do this? Kinda like the I will NEVER spin comment! Ha! God sure loves pulling fast ones on me! Oh, by the way, school ends in 9 days!!!!! Really 8 days and 1 hour! I cannot wait for that uninterrupted knitting/spinning/fiber processing time! C'mon June 10th!