Friday, April 22, 2011

Raw Fleece

I am getting an education. I am learning just how dirty sheep can be and how much work goes into making clean fiber available for me to spin.

I have two raw fleeces to clean and prep. One, as I have mentioned before, is Clematis, a Black Welsh Mountain - a beautiful deep black color. The other is Madeline, a Jacob fleece that includes white, brown and black all in one fleece. I'm doing pretty well getting the grease and dirt out, actually. I have a system and it's working well. The VM, on the other hand, especially in the Jacob, is going to be a big undertaking, I think. The scurf, a dandruff kind of thing may actually be more of an issue. I did find that shaking the clean fleece vigorously helps a lot of it fall out, but I am going to have to decide whether to toss some of the fleece or just live with the scurf in the yarn. It is not intended as a next to the skin fiber, so I may just deal with it.

The weather is not being very cooperative with my washing efforts. I washed 3 batches of wool today and put them outside to dry. Within an hour it was drizzling enough to get them wet again. It's chilly enough that the heat came on in the house and helped dry them, but I would like to get most of the fiber dried outdoors. The more wind the better.

The sleeves of the leaf and picot cardigan are coming along nicely. I find that I have to check the pattern for most rows but then knit the row without having to watch each stitch, so it is a pretty relaxing knit.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Bob and I will have been married for 34 years. I am happy to report that we are still happy and glad to spend time together. We will be having dinner with friends. If the weather cooperates, we'll go out on the boat for the first time this season on Sunday. After Easter baskets. Yum. Chocolate!

Have a good holiday.

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