Sunday, July 19, 2009

Way more work than expected

There is this saying that anything worth doing is worth doing well. I am trying to keep this in mind when processing this fleece. I tried spinning up that original bit that I washed and lets just say the results were less than stellar. The end yarn bore no resemblance to any yarn that I've ever seen before - not even a novelty yarn. I'm optimistic though, because the yarn was quite soft. Next to skin soft even. Take a look.

Those things, those little bits and blobs are called 'nepps*'. They sometimes result from the processing of fleece (possibility) or come from weaker fleeces (likely). Now, I'm not saying that my processing skills are so developed that I couldn't have possibly caused these nepps. I am saying that I handled the fleece parts with care, no agitation, no squeezing or wringing. I spoke to RGB (the lady that I'm buying the wheel/carder/picker from) and she recommended that I use the picker. She also recommended that I try spinning 'in the grease'.

*can you believe that they sell these nepps on etsy?

Now the picker is one scary looking device. Check it out.

I've had this thing in my possession since May '08 and have yet to use it. Blair says it looks like some sore of medeival torture device. I agree. I took a bunch of the fleece and ... I'm not sure of the right verb here... 'ran'? it through the picker. Not really an accurate verb because you kind of swing the barbed nails over the fleece. This seems to accomplish two things (besides tearing a hole in my jacket and puncturing my leg) It fluffs up the fleece and it removes quite a bit of debris. See?

So after that I decided to wash it, using the same method as I previously did. I want to see if I get different results running the fleece through the picker prior to scouring the fleece. It is really remarkable how much dirt comes out of this fleece. Here is my laundry tub after the first wash on this section of fleece.

And here is the fleece drying in the sun (on my sweater rack)

I'm hoping to get better results when I card and spin this. If not, I guess, maybe, perhaps I'll consider taking RGB's advise and trying spinning in the grease. I'm just afraid it'll muck up the equipment. And, I'd have to do it outside, because this fleece is way too stinky to consider leaving in the house as is for any length of time.

No comments: