Sunday, 22 March 2009

It's Up To You!





Yes, Zoe knows my personal demon colors only too well. Thanks for all of the ideas - I've got a few personal favourites in there so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they keep on coming up. Just posting some pics of the wool as it was washed (please note Lurcher is v. stupid he thinks I have a new friend.... either that or he wants to be a wolf in sheeps clothing... Sorry.... Okay my computer stupidity has got the better of me, so I'll explain where the pictures should be and what they are. Jim is sitting on the fleece before it's been sorted for washing.
Above jim is the sorted, unwashed fleece. Lots of grass and dirt. It's best to wash it little by little, so it's then sorted into 500g pieces and washed (top left). This is done with Orvus paste, a baby bath, V. hot water and a lot of patience! You have to soak the wool. agitating it in any way just makes it felt. The first soak takes out most of the surface dirt. Then it's repeat and repeat until the wool is clean. Then a couple of rinses later, you're ready for the next step. The wool is spun out in an old twin tub I keep outside and finally spread out in a hammock to dry in the sun (ever hopeful of a British summer, but we've had a few nice days up here recently so I grabbed my chance! Then the work begins!!!

PLEASE REMEMBER TO POST YOUR SUGGESTED COLOURWAY FOR CHANCE TO WIN 100G OF YARN

10 comments:

Madam Salami said...

Jim is gorgeous! You and Zoe must have tons of patience! I'd get bored plus the 'sheep' smell isn't one of my favourites! lol x x

Madam Salami said...

Just saw the pic of Rosie - I get it now Rosie and Jim - "chugging along on their old tug boat"

stella said...

I'm a bit sick I'm afraid- I love that sheepy smell! I was Born and brought up in New Zealand tho, so maybe it's genetic - all those trips to shearing sheds from school....

Helen @ The Beading Lady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen @ The Beading Lady said...

It looks so soft.
I love watching the process... thank you Zoe and Stella.

knitwits said...

Jim is lovely! i'm really loving this blog, its a fab way to learn a bit about other crafts.

stella said...

I've passed on your comments to Jim. He loves to be loved but is busy trying to destroy the sofa at the moment. Hmmm That old tug boat sounds like a grand idea....

Sharnemainia knits said...

never knew soo much work went into washing the fleece, looks very soft!



ewwwww sheep smell

SNOW QUEEN said...

I have two fleeces, one I have washed (white) I used Grannies original soap flakes! did the job quite well, the black one needs washing next, but it is quite a big job as you know, so I am not in any hurry, lol!
Can I use Dylon, or does it have to be a special veggie dye?
I will be using the fleece as it is though (still wooly and slightly needlefelted) for fun brooches etc..

stella said...

Hi Snow Queen!
Dylon dyes should be ok, but they work out a bit expensive, unless you just want to dye the fleece one colour - you can use either the cold water dye or the multi purpose (the one you boil - comes in a tiny tin). The most economical dyes are acid dyes, there's loads to choose from. Zoe favours Jaquard, but I go for Kemtex dyes. They're made in Chorley so I'm shopping local, plus you get loads for your money. They do a starter kit which has a selection of colours and the stuff you need to get you going. I think fibrecrafts also do an acid dye starter kit (if you google both names then you should get the websites up). They're called acid dyes as they use vinegar to fix the dye. As for veggie dyes, nettles are out soon.... I love the green you get, but all of that picking and stinging... I started out with plant dyes but soon realised that they are ok for the odd project but give me a little pot of acid dye any day!