Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I don't usually spin from fibers that I've prepared from raw fleece. I'm allergic to a lot of weeds and grasses and can't handle most fleeces without a reaction because of the vegetable matter. However, some wool is okay if the sheep haven't been pastured with any of the specific green stuff that triggers my allergies. There's no way for me to know which fleeces will cause me problems without my handling some of it.

Sharon at Golden Willow (Rav link) had a bit of washed Targhee for sale. I bought it, picked some of it, and knew it wouldn't cause a reaction so I bought some of the raw fleece. Here's how it looks before a bath.

After several hot baths in a lingerie bag in hot water with no agitation, I can now start to play with it. (I used Orvus Paste for the first couple of baths, then washed it and rinsed it with Unicorn Fibre products which I love, love, love!) Here's a lock to show you the lovely crimp in this wool.

My hands hurt when I tease fiber so I combed it which helps trap the vm in the short noils left in the combs...

and opens up the fibers into this yummy pouf.

If I diz off the fiber, I get a lovely little nest of top like this.

Because I'm carding the fiber with sheltie undercoat, I don't need to diz off the fiber so I can take it off the comb and feed it into the drum carder. I put a layer of wool, then a layer of sheltie fluff, then another layer of wool; I find that keeping the sheltie fluff in the middle of the 'sandwich' helps to card it evenly.
Eventually, I end up with lovely pillows of batts ready to spin.
I can't imagine doing a lot of this preparation for most of my spinning but the end result of clean, bouncy, fresh fiber makes it worth doing every now and then.


Jody said...

It definitely is a huge amount of work when you are starting with raw fleece (it's not for the squeamish). My last fleece, I was picking out dead June bugs..yuk. I don't know why I prefer it but I just do.

Tina said...

It looks lovely. So very special with the sheltie hair in it. I do have to practice my spinning more so that I can finally start using our dog’s undercoat which is very short, so I am really intimidated. Will need lots of practice