Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Corriedale Tale

My first experience with processing a raw fleece has been somewhat, let's say, not what I expected. I purchased a fleece at MDS&W last weekend. It was 7lbs of Corriedale loveliness. I got praises from both Jasmin (Knitmoregirls) and Meghan (StitchIt). I was feeling very confident that this would be an easy process. How wrong was I!!!!!

Bag O Corriedale Corriedale

On Saturday, 8 May, I gathered my laundry bags, wooden spoon, Dawn dish detergent, measuring cup, and drying racks and headed to my lowest level of my house. I stuffed some fleece in my 3 mesh bags, zipped them closed, filled up my washer with hot water (anyway, I thought is was hot), added Dawn in the water. I then put my bags in and let them set for 18 minutes. Then is used the "spin only" cycle to drain the water, removed the fleece, filled it back up with water and rinse #1 accomplished. Repeated the rinse cycle again. I repeated the entire wash/rinse process a 2nd time. I then spread my fleece on my drying rack, covered them with netting, place them on my deck in the nice warm sunshine.

Fleece Washing Tools
100_0755 100_0754

Then came evening. The fleece was dry!! Can't wait to spin it now. I changed bobbins on my Woolee Winder so that I could start on my new fleece. I was doing the happy dance. Put my leader on my bobbin, flicked a couple of locks-still a little lanolin present-but ok, I'll try anyway.
Just to say, it was not a pretty site. I was struggling with this fiber! It didn't want to draft, however, the lanolin felt good in my hand. Now, my dilemma, do I continue or rewash. Posted questions on a few boards on Ravelry, pm'd Meghan for her advice. I gave up spinning my Corriedale that night to start fresh on Sunday.

I was given a link to a blog that had some good information. The link is:

Today, I rewashed my fleece using a container with "Hot" water from the stove. I used a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. I mad sure that the water was at a minimum of 140 F. I still spun the water out in my washer. I noticed that having the bag full of fiber, when it was washed most of the fiber was in the bottom of the bags. Next time I will definitely stuff more fiber in the bag. I will use on 2 bags instead of three. I plan on spinning the rewashed fiber tonight. I have to admit, I do feel a difference.

I hope to keep my Corriedale Tales up to date!

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