Tips And Tricks Thursday – Scrub-a-dub-dub

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Today’s Tips and Tricks Thursday post is all about washing wool and my first experiences with taking raw, unwashed fleece and turning it into something beautiful for spinning.

I was a little afraid to get started but after doing a some reading (Thank you Alden Amos!) and little more research on my own I was ready to get started.

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My choice of raw, unwashed fleece was 12oz of some really lovely raw, unwashed Border Leicester from Spunky Eclectic. Pictured above are some of the nice, crimpy locks, still in the grease.

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I filled up my sink with warm water and some really great handmade soap from a friend, as well as a small amount of vinegar. I added 4oz of the fleece to the water at a time, gave it a couple of gentle presses with my hands to make sure it was fully saturated, and allowed it to sit for approximately 20 minutes.

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After the 20 minute soak, I tossed the wool into the washer and turned on the spin cycle to remove all the excess water and dirt and then back for a rinse in the sink with some nice warm water. The wash, spin dry, and rinse can be repeated as many times as needed to get the wool sparkly clean.

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This is how the wool looked after its first wash and rinse.

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And this is how much dirt and grease came out from one washing.
(Clean fleece on the left and grease wool on the right).
Isn’t it amazing! It is like working magic with wool!

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And once it was all clean and snowy white, well, I just couldn’t resist carding some up …

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… and trying to make the perfect rolag.

This was a very interesting experience for me and I’m eager to try it out more. Next time I try it, I think I might dye the locks before carding them. You will need to stay tuned for my December handspun post to see finished pictures of my yarn.

Happy knitting and spinning all!

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