Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wool washing

I waited until Saturday to wash my wool for spinning class, so I wouldn't gross out Terry.

I filled the sink with room temperature water and mild soap, and got out my wad o' fiber. It looks like someone scalped Harpo Marx in my kitchen.

Then I added the wool to the water and pressed on it gently. You don't want the water to be too hot or cold, and you don't want to agitate the wool vigorously, or it will felt.

A sink full of wet wool smells like the sheep barn at the fair. You old 4-Hers know what I'm talking about. Looks like it, too. You can see a piece of hay at the bottom of the picture. As for the other, darker bits of effluvia floating in the water - use your imagination. (Oh, don't bother. My friend Hope called while it was soaking. "I remember the sheep at my sister's farm," she said. "It was dingleberry central.") Suffice it to say, the sink is getting a nice Clorox rinse later.

I removed the wool, drained it in a colander, and rolled it in a towel to blot up the water. Then I created a makeshift hammock to continue the drying.

Now it looks like a big lump, and I am obsessing about whether I agitated it too much and felted it by mistake.

Katie, as usual, was eager to help with the photo shoot by playing with the spindle and the slicker brush.


Aser said...

Very interesting. Do all hair fibers felt or just wool?

Cheryl said...

I don't know if all animal fibers felt, but mohair, alpaca, and llama do.