Seems like I’ve got quite a bit going on,, but then I sit down to blog, and I can’t seem to organize my thoughts.

So I’m just going to chuck at all out there:

Cold Water Wool washing.

I’ve read a lot about this lately, and thought I’d give it a go. Sounded like a nice low-input way to go, and like it might be easier on the woo than heat and detergent.

So, here is the dirty fleece-

Pre-Cold Water Wash2

Here are the washing tubs, full of dirty fleece and cold water-

Cold Water Wash Tubs

And here is the fleece one week later, rinsed with the garden hose, squeezed to death, and dried in the sun-

Cold Water Washed

Not bad. It is really nice that it gets the dirt out and leaves some of the lanolin in.

Worked pretty well that first time,, so I thought I’d do another batch. This time, though, the weather was really hot all week, and I think this might have affected the wash water. I think it fermented or something, because ….


You would not have believed the stink.


I couldn’t deal with the wool and that stench, so I dumped the batch, filled the tub again, and let the wool sit for another 3 days.
It’s still drying now,, so I’m not sure of the end result yet.

Will keep you updated.

In other news, I’ve got some new spins-

Romney 2ply

Wool and Roses

but no new knits, as I’ve pretty much just been swatching this week, working on the new techniques (see last post).

But I have done a little sewing and embroidery, in honor of our 11th anniversary (not done yet, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)

IMG_0910 (Medium)

And last but not least, the question on the week-

Boy kitty?

Boy Kitty

Or Girl Kitty?

Girl Kitty

How in the world can you choose between those two?


  1. Jody

    I say take both kitties..twice the sweetness 🙂
    I was thinking of trying that cold soak technique but I would still have to wash the lanolin out. My carder doesn’t like any lanolin in the fleece.

    • Denise

      Yeah- I wouldn’t bother with the cold water wash with anything I planned on carding (unless it was a pre-soak for a hot wash). But I think it should work out alright for combing. And I do like the feel of a little lanolin when I spin-

  2. Michelle

    I think I’d take both if I could, too. But if I had to choose one, it would be the girl only because I’ve always wanted a Siamese mix; love the “points”!

    • Denise

      I really wish I could do spindrifters tomorrow, but I’ve got commencement ALL DAY (three ceremonies for this year!). Maybe I’ll bring my wheel with me so I can spin when I have a little bit of time in-between… (times like this when I wish I had a folding wheel!)

  3. Donna

    I would say both kittens!

    What were the fleece types for the cold water washes? I would love to hear about your progress with this!

    • denise

      I’ve only done some Romney and part of the white mystery fleece with the cold water method so far. Don’t have any raw Shetland around right now to try,,,,but perhaps after Black Sheep….

      • Donna

        Great to hear you will be at Black Sheep- see you there! Last year I managed to purchase a Shetland fleece of all things…40 of my own fleeces aren’t enough apparently….but at least I have an almost complete Shetland lace shawl to show for it.

  4. Keli

    Did you use rain water? A lady in France soaked for a day to rinse the wool. Both soaks were in rain water.

    • sheepsclothing

      Nope. Well water. I’ve heard of people just leaving fleece out to be rained on to do an initial rinse- That would be a good way to go around here in the spring, with as much rain as we usually get. But it’s been pretty dry for the last month or so.-

  5. Kathy

    I’d keep both kitties. But then that’s why I have 7 housecats even though I’m allergic to them. 😉

  6. Franna Pitt

    Oh, both kitties (though I know you chose the girl kitty….). We rescued two week old kittens this spring. They’re now tearing up the house – so loving and don’t mind the dogs at all. (one of the dogs was their surrogate mom for a while).

    I wasn’t pleased with the cold water wash. I’m glad it’s working for you.
    – Franna


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