Thursday, January 14, 2010

this is the way we wash the fleece....

As part of my ongoing endeavor to buy fleece from every known breed to mankind, an organic gray Gotland fleece arrived from Treenway Silks today. I'm thinking that Canada Post must be starting to wonder about me and these smelly boxes that I keep ordering but the lovely postal workers continue to deliver them with smiles.

I didn't really know what to expect of Gotland fleece. And I still don't really know what to expect of Gotland fleece. First off, this fleece is, shall we say, aromatic. I rather like the smell of the barnyard (critter aroma, I'm weird that way) and lanolin but this one was a little ripe even for my nose. The dogs were most impressed.

When I opened up the box, this curly light gray mass greeted me.

When I turned over a bit of the fleece, I saw all this brown wool.
At that point, the dogs were practically climbing over each other to try to get up on the table and roll in this marvelous smelly mass of wonder.

Here is a lock that I pulled out. I didn't have a ruler handy so the pen is there for scale.

I couldn't resist and immediately ran a nice hot bath in the laundry tub to wash some of it. The suds are original green Palmolive dish detergent. I've decided that I like it better than blue Dawn and I can buy it in big jugs at Costco. It's mild and biodegradable. It smells nice too.

Those are my nifty fleece washing crates. I was looking for crates with holes in the bottom so that I could move my mesh bags of wool from tub to tub without disturbing them too much. Dan brought home four of these old Coke crates from hockey one day. He said that they've been in the hallway of the old rink for years so obviously nobody cared about them. They needed a good wash with bleach to clean them but they are perfect for my purposes.
They fit in the tubs easily and hold a good sized layer of locks. The sides are low enough that I can adequately cover them with the wash water and they nest so that the mesh bag stays submerged in the bottom one.
I have a good, observant husband.

After several tubfuls of warm, soapy water, the fleece is now rinsing and will be ready to spread out to dry overnight. I'll post more photos of it then. It will be interesting to see how much of the brown stuff was dirt and how much of it is fleece.


Monika said...

I've bought the fleece of a Gotland sheep last year, but I let it be processed before shipping it to me. It's the most wonderful grey fiber, and I wonder when I'll get to it to spin up this treasure. Mine is medium dark grey.Hope yours will turn out well too!

Jody said...

I've learned to never judge a fleece until I can't wait to see that clean Gotland. Boy that's really dark. I can tell you that my goat (kid mohair) is pretty aromatic as well.
I bet your fleece came from a ram!

Lovs2Knit said...

Can't wait to see how the fleece turns out after the washes. I haven't washed and carded my own fleece yet but it's on my to do list.