Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Recipe For Yarn
~Place the wool on a skirting table. This is my skirting table made of PVC pipe and the top is chicken wire secured all around the PVC frame. The wool fleece that was removed from the sheep is placed cut side down on this table letting loose debris, dirt, and 2nd cuts ( very short useless pieces of the fleece) fall through to the ground below. ~If you have spotted sheep like I do, you sort the wool into bags, shown here ( above ) in a laundry sorter. I separate the wool fleece into bags of black, white, and everything else....that is the wool that is so interspersed with both the black and the white that it is not worth the effort to separate the colors. This gives me the gray wool I find very attractive and also use for my dyed yarns and rug wool batts. ~The wool then needs to be washed. Here is my supervisor, Hawk. He has personally stuck his nose into every bag of wool several times and he has given the wool an enthusiastic tail wags up! I will wash the wool in my spare bathroom bathtub. (below) I fill a big bin with dawn dish soap and hot water, being very careful NOT to allow water to run onto the wool itself. I am not making felt here you know. Here I am washing fleece in two bins in the tub...I do have a lot of wool to wash. ~I keep repeating this process, placing the wool in hot , soapy water , then I cover the bin with the lid to keep it soaking in hot water for as long as possible. I then drain the water off while holding the wool in the bins with my hands and run more water and repeat until the water runs pretty clean. After the 2nd rinse I do not add any Dawn soap....it depends on how dirty your fleeces are, and you can be the judge of that.You can see in the picture that the 2 bins are in my tub, and one bin is full of white wool, the other is the 'everything else' bin.
~The wool now needs to dry. Hubby and I bought an amazing drying rack at IKEA! Very affordable and it makes me very happy because I now do not have to layer plastic and towels all over the floor to dry wool. The wool is placed on a drying rack in our spare bedroom, over the furnace vent and in front of a sunny window.~
~Another view of the drying rack covered in wet wool , in front of the sunny window in the spare bedroom.( below )~
~The dry wool is then picked, which means it is pulled apart to then be able to run it through the fine tooth carder , or brushes, and then it is carded into batts. Below are batts of gray ( everything else wool), white and black.~