Now Eleanor has been asking me for some time for a more detailed post about how a prepare and dye fleece so today I will take you through the smelly bit and I will go into different dyeing effects in a later post. Saturday mornings are usually my fleece washing times simply because I tend to have the hot water on for other things as well, also hubby is often out the way so reducing the chances of me soaking him with a bucket of water!
Talking about buckets....I use a large flexible builders type bucket as it is easier to carry over to the garden to empty out and I have smaller buckets to half fill it.
FIRSTLY CAN I SAY THAT THIS RAW FLEECE , WEAR GLOVES AND CHECK THAT YOUR ANTI TETANUS JAB IS UP TO DATE....health warning out of the way, here we go ( BTW a close friend of mine found barbed wire in one pack of fleece so warning is needed)
So first step is to buy some fleece, usually I'm able to pick some up at the local guild or fibre festivals. I've made a few mistakes over the years but now have a better idea what to look for. I also have a copy of the Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook which is pretty much a fleece bible with around 200 breeds photos of the locks, spun yarn, knitted and woven yarn. I have a couple of etsy and ebay sellers that I use as well.
I use a good squirt of fairy washing up liquid and very hot water the hottest water from the heater plus a kettle full of boiling water as I want to melt the lanolin as well as remove the dirt. The bags are placed in the water and left to soak, no agitation as I really do not want anything to felt.
If you have any question etc about spinning and fibres, please feel free to contact me through the shop email address.
Now I've bored you senseless, I will let you get back to usual knitting blog posts :-)