Sunday, February 3, 2008

Welcome to my World of Fleece Washing

Welcome to my home........ The big landslide waiting to happen over the door reminded me of the old bucket of water over the door trick that used to facinate me as a kid.
Well, our last storm is over. Schools and, well, everything were cancelled on Friday. We had to get out our driveway and road because we had an appointment with our tax man. Fortunately, both our vehicles have 4 wheel drive. I guess living in the country like we do, 4 wheel drive and a generator are a necessity. We humans could probably get along without electricity for a while but I worry too much about having water in the barn for our four legged friends.
I have a rather large yarn order to be spun up from some raw black fleece from Black Knight and this is pretty much what is taking up my time right now. I weighed out 20 ounces of his fleece and washed it. This is the way I wash if you are interested. I fill the sink or bucket with the hottest tap water that I can get and add a big glug of Dawn dishwashing detergent. (This is what I use for dishes so it is handy) I push the fleece in and usually put a dish or something on top to weight it down. I let this sit and soak until the water cools, frequently overnight. Before I dump the wet mess into a colander/drainer, I very gently push up and down to further loosen dirt. I dump it and push to get out some more of that yucky water. I again fill the sink/bucket with very hot water and this time I add Eucalan and follow the same procedure. Now begins the rinse. The first rinse gets a big glug of white vinegar and usually one more rinse will have nice clear water.
I have a top loading washing machine so I ease the fiber into a couple mesh bags, squeeze, and run like hell to the utility room where the machine is waiting with an open lid. I know, I know, I could put something under but I don't have a lot of excitement in my life......
My last spin cycle doesn't add any water and does a beautiful job extracting the water so I can lift the bags out - no dripping now. I spread the fleece out in the tub in our spare bathroom so that Riley cat doesn't wallow in it. If I go in and fluff occasionally, it will be dry in about 2 hours.
Tomorrow I will talk a little about carding and my fight with static.