Friday, August 21, 2009

Black And White

I washed the first of the soaking fleeces this morning. It hadn't soaked the full 5 days, but it did have the start of the infamous white film on top of the water. It was a Jacob lamb fleece and I got nervous. The Cotswold fleeces seem almost indestructible...and dirtier. Wasn't sure about the lamb fleece.

Here is what I started with the other day.

I strained it with the laundry basket (great idea!) and then spun it in the washing machine to remove as much funky water as possible. It was actually already pretty clean. So far, so good (and didn't think to take a picture).

I gave it one hot, soapy wash and it looked so good that I skipped the normal second wash and went straight to rinse. I still rinsed twice just because I'm a worrier and don't want any trace of soap left on the fiber.

This is where we ended up. Now that's pretty bright white, eh?

Here's my problem/question. It still feels pretty greasy. It's not dry yet, but I doubt that's going to make it feel better (could be wrong). So, if I still have to give it the full 4 runs through the washer and I'm not saving any soap (expense and pollution), is there any point?

I think what I need to do on the next one is split the fleece in half and process one half the old way and the other the new way and see what I think. It does seem a little cleaner, dirt-wise and I like that. I'll keep you posted.

Wiwi - who keeps herself sparkly black and white and looks like the princess and the pea sleeping on her new favorite kitty bed. The quilts (made by my grandmother) got piled up there the other day after our company left and she claimed them as hers. We just keep walking around her. We are apparently well trained.

Christine won the birthday book (please email me at thecrazysheeplady at gmail dot com with your mailing address :-).


Christine said...

Yay! Geez I hardly ever win anything. :)

Newbie question: What do you put the fleece in when you put it in your washer? I'm assuming you don't just throw it in there.

BTW, LOVE LOVE LOVE the kitty photo. I want to curl up with her.

DayPhoto said...

Did you have a nice birthday dinner? I thought of you and sent you mental Birthday wishes.

I find the washing of the wool very intersting. And you kitty is very wise...old quilts ARE the best!


melanie said...

Perhaps a clean fleece with more of the wonderful lanolin left in is a GOOD thing? Just a thought...

lisa said...

Look like very comfy quilts, also pretty!

Alice said...

The washed wool is definitely whiter and not any the worse for wear.... a wonderful start!

Anonymous said...

You live in such a beautiful place by the looks of your princess on the quilts picture. I am always so awwed by your scenery and your farm -- you really are blessed!

RE The washing: I have washed without the cold water soak (though I think I'll try that next time!) and used a product by Eco Store which is a plant based wash for Wool I believe called "Wool Wash." ;) Anyway, it is toxic free and harmless to the enviornment and let me tell you, leaves the fleece fresh, clean, and not sticky at all. The eucalyptis oils really adds a fabulous smell and gets the whites so bright and the brights even brighter. I highly recommend it, especially if you're still having a sticky residue.

I hope your birthday was grand!

CathyD. said...

May I add my belated Happy Birthday wishes? My hubby and I once had a lovely, romantic dinner in Lexington...sigh. I read that book in the spring and really liked it. I used your flock when I was imagining what the characters looked like. Do you ever wonder what your sheep talk about when you're not around.?

thecrazysheeplady said...

I just put the fleece in the washer. I've used the same washer for 6 years now and now trouble. It's nice to now have a dedicated washer in the wool house though.

Extra lanolin would be good in some situations, but can be sticky in general and the processors don't like that.

Will definitely check out the wool wash.

Yes, I do wonder what the sheep and other animals think/say around here and have even toyed with trying to write a short story sometime.


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