Friday, 12 October 2012


So most folk would have started with a well shorn sheep and washed the fleece and then spun I guess? No? oh well maybe I am not too bad then. Because I had a small amount of Piccolo's fleece washed already and I'd conveniently bought a bundle thingy of carded coloured ryeland wool off Sandy Davidson I didn't really have to tackle the fleece washing debacle until today.

It was pretty clear that my bundle thingy of wool wasn't really going to last as I obsessively diligently set about spinning yesterday. I think it helped actually having properly carded wool to tackle. All those pronouncements of rubbish in rubbish out ringing in my ears at least gave me the hope that I'd not produce anything too dreadful if (big if that) I could just master this treadling drafting tension chaos. Not unlike learning to drive, I found my feet and hands were a little too confusing at times.

But I digress from today's shenanigans, washing a fleece!!!! Actually more like half a fleece, which for any one who knows Ryeland sheep, is still a lot of wool! As per usual I watched youtube vids and read a fair few web pages and then blythely got on with it. mostly hoping for the best. I will admit a small part of me was thinking "well if I stuff this up there's more fleece to go at" which when you are adept at stuffing up is a sort of comfort. I also briefly thought that creating my own quilt batting with any duff stuff might well be in my future..

 several hot washes, a frustrating desire to moosh it all about, which is by all accounts the big no no, and several hours later and I have something akin to wet reasonably clean looking if you ignore the bits still to pick out woollen clouds.

I have decided that if I'm going to do this I have to learn to enjoy each step of the process, that its no good hating one bit and there fore rushing it out the way. Dogs and cats are warily skirting past me lest they too lose the odd hank of hair.

Its the carding step I find really difficult :(

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