Wool, I finally got around to it. Cleaning some of my wool, that is. My Uncle had given me a whole fleece and I have been excited to get around to cleaning it. It's not as difficult, it's just time consuming and requires patience, which sometimes I am not good at.
I read through several tutorials and watched multiple YouTube videos about the process before I went ahead. I had cleaned a small portion a few months ago, all by hand. I washed it in a bucket of hot water in the sink, wrung it out and laid it to dry in the sun. It turned out quite lovely. It was only a very small portion, though, and not enough to do much of anything with.
I decided to do it a little bit differently this time. I started by picking out most of the yucky stuff, (you know, poo and grass bits). And then soaked it gently in a rubbermaid of cool water a few times to remove as much dirt and grime as I could. It was amazing. And gross. But a cool process, none the less. The thought crossed my mind the whole time, "What if I felt it by accident?!" The thing is, though, that sheep live outside. They get rained on. They get caught up in fog. Their coats don't felt then. As long as I treated it gently it would be fine. And it was!
After I had rinsed it a few times, I filled my washer with hot water and a generous amount of Free and Clear detergent. I turned the washer off, gently put my wool in, and let it sit for an hour. Play with your baby.
Maybe sew a few things.
Do NOT agitate. Can you believe, this was after I had previously rinsed it several times? Let it sit for just a smidge longer.
Play with your baby some more. Sew some more. Entertain your Preschooler a bit.
Once the wool has sat in the hot water and turned it a muddy color, turn the washer to the Spin cycle and let it drain. No rinsing, just spin/drain. The result will be some fluff flattened to the sides of your washer, but cleaned and ready to be dried. I lay mine out on my picnic table and let it dry in the sun. Not only did the sun dry it, but also had a similar effect on the wool as it does on cloth diapers. It bleached some of the yellow out of it. It was magical.
I carded a little bit. Now I have to practice with a Drop Spindle. This could take me a while to get the hang of...
Are there any tips or tricks to using a drop spindle, or is it just a matter of practicing? So far, my yarn looks....lumpy.
P.S. Come check out the recipe I'm sharing over on Catholic Sistas!