Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today I washed Tunis

Today I spent hours taking a raw Tunis fleece to a cleanish state.

I did 5 washes, and 2 rinses on these. I had about 1lb that I did in 2 tubs of about 1/2 lb each. I used Unicorn Power Scour to wash. The first batch I did not do a presoak and I ended up doing 5 wash cycles! I used the Unicorn Fiber Rinse and did 2 rinses.

The second batch I did a plain water presoak, followed by 4 washes and rinsed in only water with no fiber rinse for 3 rinse cycles.

All in all, while id did clean up a lot, I think it could be cleaner. There is still quite a bit of VM and stained areas. The overall staple length is a pretty consistent 2". It is all drying now. I will take more pictures after its dry. I am hoping that I come the light of day it will look better. I plan on picking it to see if I can get rid of a good bit of the VM. I think once I do that I should be able to wash it again with some better results. The dirt seems very persistent in areas. I am not sure the stained wool will come clean but I have hopes. The wool its self if very soft and springy feeling. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I have decided to take my wool to another level!

For the last year or so (give or take some time), I have been playing around with wool. I started out unraveling wool yarns from sweaters. That was very relaxing and fun. I started dyeing them fun colors in my kitchen. I made some interesting hats and scarves from them. I have always loved color so the dyeing was my favorite part. I bought some undyed yarns to dye a fantastic range of colors. I used food coloring, koolaid, natural dyes, professional dyes. The possibilities were fantastic.

I love yarns too. I moved on to handspun yarns from others. I finally decided to give that a try. So I got myself a drop spindle and gave it a whirl. I had found a new love. I started buying rovings and batts. The next step of course was a set of hand cards and my very own washed wool to dye and card.

Did you know that wool as I had known it was not the wool that I would that I would find? Ever new wool I got was different. It had a different feel. It had a different look. It had a different smell. Also I had to redefine my idea of clean.

Wool can be clean and still look a mess. It can be full of VM all those fun bits of hay, burs, crap (literally). For some clean means it has had a cool soak. For some it was well skirted. For some it was taken as a whole and tossed into a wash.

So these days for the most part I am working with raw wool, skirted or not depended on where I get it. I will take this wool, and turn it into clean, lovely natural or dyed locks, batts, rovings, and handspun yarns.

Its all an adventure and I learn a little bit each time I do it. I will be posting pictures along the way and sharing tips and tricks I learn. Please feel free to share your as well.