I got a great deal on some raw fleece this week. Most of it has yet to arrive, but I did get in a pound and a half to play with. When I opened up the box I could immediately smell the barnyard. Gotta love that raw animal/hay/feed/manure smell. (this is when I started to wonder if I was nuts. I was excited about dirty wool!) Without hesitation I went about getting it all washed up. The fleece that I got in is a gorgeous black and brown crossbreed wool. It's Columbia x Rambouillet x Corriedale mix. Sooo pretty. It was pretty dirty, the water turned a dark brown and it took many washings to get it nice and clean. I let it dry overnight on my ironing board.
Note: Take off your ironing board cover to use it as a drying table. Ingenious! Why didn't I think of this months ago.
This morning I began preparing it to be spun. I just grabbed some chunks and used a hand carder to fluff it open enough to put it through the carder. It carded up beautifully. I've never had such soft and fluffy fiber in the house before. I can't wait to get the rest in.
I also go some Alpaca seconds and thirds. You just can't beat $1.50 per pound! I read that you can make batting for a quilt with this stuff. So, I'm planning on carding it all up and then making a small blanket or something. Not sure yet, but it'll be warm and soft.
This week I also did some more dyeing. It's still so foreign to me. My colors never come out how I expect them to. But, overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. I also dyed up some white cotton recycled yarn. They all came out in pastel shades. I was going for much deeper colors. Maybe the dyes I'm using aren't meant for cotton.
I just wanted to end this post with a very special thank you to my family. They have been living in a house that smells like wet dog and barn for the past 3 days.