Monday, June 19, 2006

Fleece chronicles

Once upon a time there was a large fleece. It came from the working farm at the Vet School, where the sheep were raised for the students to practice on, and for their lamb (as in meat) production.

With no fancy coats to keep their fleeces clean, like in their tame sheep-for-fiber cousins, their locks were wild and daring, worn carelessly while prancing around to avoid the clumsy student and rolling in the green pastures.

The large fleece was a fine specimen, with a nice crimp, and an astounding quantity of extraneous vegetable matter firmly adhered in mats of lanolin and dirt.

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Still, vet students are notorious fools, and the fleece was brought home, where its aromatic presence banned children from the attic and delighted the cat.

After some pondering, the Dawn-liquid-detergent-consuming task of washing the fleece began. At first in the washing machine, to the astonishment of the land-lady, with whom the machine is shared, but the fleece refused to open itself to the cold beauty of technology. Having already swiftly disposed of the garbage disposal device in the kitchen sink by strangling it in loose fibers, it was time to try the bathtub.

Fleece dregs, third wash
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Fleece dregs, fourth wash
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Oops, all out of Dawn: time for a rinse
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or as clean as it will ever be.

How the fleece will be deprived of all its vegetable accoutrements, and tamed into spinnable fiber is, at present, unknown. For now, it is still dubious that it will ever ever get all completely dry.


Blogger maryse said...

oh my. what a mess.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Martita said...

I really hope you get some good, useable wool out of that! I'd hate to see all that work go to waste.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Midsummer night's knitter said...

YOu've just underlined for me the reason I nuy ready-prepared!

11:57 AM  
Blogger alltangledup said...

should I have a burning desire to spin and confronted with a pile of vegetative matted fleece, I would probably suppress that desire. Well done to you for washing and prepping... really... it looks terrifying!

2:54 PM  
Blogger alltangledup said...

should I be burning to spin and be confronted with that pile of fleece, I would probably suppress that desire. well done you for sorting it out... it looks scary!

2:55 PM  
Anonymous melanie said...

great post!!! I hope all that effort pays off...

6:16 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

Dude. Better you than me.


10:06 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Hey, it looks better! I think a lot of that will fall out during carding or combing, especially if you washed out all the lanolin. And what doesn't come out then you will come out during the spinning.

But I don't mind picking out VM as I spin, a lot of people do!

11:30 AM  
Blogger mf said...

did you use realy hot water??

11:57 AM  

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