Yarn Treats

While in Sacramento, we stopped by a yarn shop – of course – and I couldn’t resist a couple of treats souvenirs.  Lace weight cashmere on the right, which I’m going to make into something lovely and lacy, and raw silk on the left which I intend to use to practice dyeing, and to make into a nice lightweight tshirt.

silk and cashmere


The dyeing-practice is important because I may want to dye my fleece, and don’t want that yarn to be my first-ever dyeing experience.  I’m not yet sure if it would be before or after spinning – probably after – but either way, it’s still a long way off, since I’m still in the washing phase.  First step was a cold water soak, although I’m not sure the soaking was necessary; as soon as I immersed the fleece, the water immediately turned a disgusting coffee brown.  The second water rinse was a little lighter, and then I moved to cleaning it with the hard stuff…

Dawn for Fleece Washing


I had no idea that dish soap was the appropriate thing to use to wash fleeces, but evidently it’s one of the best options.  After spending 18 months on a sheep, the fleece is coated thickly with lanolin, which the sheep uses essentially as a waterproofing grease … and which the spinner needs a heavy-duty grease-cutting agent to remove.

I’m now on my second Dawn-and-hot-water cycle, and as you can see, the fleece is much cleaner, the water less dirty, the fibers whiter.



I’m not sure how many more cycles it needs, but I’m assuming it’s just like washing anything else – keep going until the water is clear and clean.  Right?

And as long as I’m giving a little craft update – I haven’t made much progress on my summer tweed hoodie, but the turnagain cowl is coming right along.  The outside (wide stripes side) is finished, and I’m more than halfway down the back (narrow stripes) and almost ready for weaving in the many ends and 3-needle-binding-off.  Yay!

Wide Stripes


narrow stripes

4 thoughts on “Yarn Treats

  1. First off, I wonder if the LEFT yarn is the cashmere? I cant’t imagine ou dying the rose colored yarn! If you are just talking about the two white skeins, they look alike to me? Are they? Secondly, does soaking the fleece in hot water pre-shrink it for future washings of garment? Lastly, I think the turn again coel is a great combination of colors and is coming together most interestingly.

    • Ack – yes – my bad! The pink on the left is the cashmere, the cream on the right is the silk. Whoops. The two creams are both the silk…

      Also, good question about the shrinking/felting. The goal is (hopefully) not to felt/shrink the fleece while cleaning it, because it would become dense and impossible to comb out and use – but what causes felting is a hot->cold temperature shock, or agitation, so I am taking care to only add water warmer than the current temperature of the fleece, and not to stir it or poke at it too much.

      Thanks for the cowl commendation. I’m quite pleased with how it’s turning out also, although am sad that I won’t get to wear it much until next season. Once I’m done with it, I’m definitely concentrating on summer weight items for a while.

      • Thanks for the good corrections and explanation of wool. Turns out the boys and dad were wondering too, but didn’t ask. (sorry for al the typos in my question.) I never would have guessed the shrinking/felting.

  2. Pingback: Blocking – Shawl | puddle-wonderful life

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