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.
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…
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!