Give Fleece a Chance, 2022 edition

A couple weeks ago I was gifted a fleece.

Said fleece was enormous. 2 years worth of growth (apparently sheep would not accede to being sheared last year). And embedded with a fair volume of wood shavings.

I should have put something in that photo for scale. It filled one of those contractor weight black plastic bags.

A fair bit of it went into the compost straight away. Perhaps more of it should have. But underneath it looked fairly fine and crimpy, and since it was a two-year fleece, there was a lot of staple length. It seemed like it might be worth putting some time and energy into.

The only thing I could do with it right away was to throw it in a couple bins and let it soak. I was hoping that might get rid of some of the dirt and loosen it up a bit so I could get a better sense of how felted up it was.

(this is actually after a couple changes of water)

It seemed like it was working ok at first, but then the weather got really warm and the fleece got quite stinky.

This was a major setback, as The Man forbade me from bringing it into the house to wash.

So I let it soak for another week or so, changing the water a couple of times.

The smell was better, but I didn’t want to push my luck, so I setup my propane burner and dyepot to wash it outdoors.

THis is what it looked like post-soak, awaiting a hot bath

and after it’s bath

Lots of length to play with!

After the wash, it was time for phase 2 de-crudding

Here’s what stayed

and what was trimmed and tossed

The real transformation, however, happened on the combs

After that, it was smooth sailing. Mighty Red is making quick and pleasant work of spinning the combed top

which I’m then chain plying on Moto

I do so love a fleece redemption story 🙂

And as promised last week, update on Cherokee Purple tomatoes

We’ve harvested a few so far, but I think they were more productive last year when they grew in cages, rather than trellised.

And Blot Peppers are starting to show interesting colors, but I think that they are still a ways off from being ripe.

Alrighty, I probably ought to go out and do some watering.

Have a good week!

5 Comments

    • denisemor

      thanks Michelle- I was really pleased with how it cleaned up and how much staple length was salvageable. 🙂

      Reply
    • denisemor

      thanks Donna- i kind of got lucky that at least underneath all the crud the fleece was still sound and has a really nice texture. was hard to tell initially whether it was really worth the effort or not

      Reply

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