Well, 1 bag full anyway. I purchased a raw Jacob fleece from here.
This is the first time I've ever bought raw fleece. Its the first time I've ever intended to process raw fleece. To be quite honest, I'm not sure what prompted me to want to try this. I've been hearing some of the podcasters (Megan of Stitch it and Jasmin of Knitmore Girls) talk about the pros and cons of processing your own fleece from scratch. Hearing them talk about the process inspired me to give it a try. I hope its not something that I'll live to regret.
Here is a picture of the fleece spread out.
Pretty dirty isn't it? Well, I was expecting that. The seller did an accurate job of describing the fleece. It also had some tags on it. Not sure what tags are? Well, Megan (of Stitch It) gives a great description of tags in her most recent podcast. Tags are dingleberries. Still not sure what they are? Well, tags are bits of poop that cling to the sheep's fleece. Some shearers will remove this stuff when shearing the animal. This one had all that charm left on. I wonder what the guys in the post office thought? I hope the package wasn't too stinky while at our postal station. I'm sure the guys think I'm eccentric enough without having packages come that smell like shit.
I decided to clean about 8 oz tonight. I used Maggie Casey's method as outlined in the book 'Start Spinning'. This fleece is very greasy. Or it feels greasy to me. I have nothing really to compare it to, but it is greasy to the touch. But after two washings the fleece is no longer feeling oily. Take a look at the dirty water that was left after the first rinse.
And here it is drying on a sweater rack. I'm debating whether I'll keep on with the cleaning process or whether I'll card this stuff up and spin it right away, just to get a feel for it. Already this bit of fleece feels so much cleaner. And the best part is, it no longer stinks!! Now, there is still quite a bit of vegetable matter (VM) in here that will hopefully come out with carding, but I think (or hope) I can handle that. Wish me luck!
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