Monday, November 05, 2007

And After That...

I got on to the more serious work of the weekend.

Washing some fleece. Am I the only one who is not thrilled with the act? Hey, they are just one ounce samples. What the heck! How long can it take? The whole afternoon, that's how long!

The cheviot sample was dark. It contained bits from two clearly different sections of the fleece. The staple length was short in the section that had any lock integrity. And the vegetable matter was horrid! I felt I should have pulled and picked prior to washing, but the staple length was so short, there was no way I could prevent a gummy ball from forming. The other bits had no lock definition whatsover and appeared to be longer, much lighter, and coarser.

The North Country sample had lovely longer staples. I was fearful that the grease may have caused permanent staining, but no fear. It washed to a soft, creamy white after a very short soak.
The dorsets were the next to hit the tub. I expected the short staple length of the horned dorset . However, I am a bit concerned with how to prep this for spinning. As it is drying in its little bag, it is looking a bit too much like cotton balls. The polled dorset has a staple length of over 2.5 inches and the tips were disgusting. After the first soak, I targeted them with extra hot water. It helped some, but I may need to take drastic measures before spinning.
This group is going to force me to change my scouring method. I have been placing the fleece in little "bags" of netting and soaking them in a small wash basin. The other girls have been trying a contraption of household window screening material. Take the rectangle/square - layer the fleece - staple together. This allows for a much tighter package and does not allow the fleece to move around. My netting allows for far too much movement and requires a great deal of re-alignment on my part before moving to the carder or flicker.
Now off to the wheel!

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