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Old 03-29-2011, 03:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Shandeh View Post
Spinning is a LOT of work. But, it's also very rewarding when you finish making the yarn, then make something by knitting, crocheting, or weaving it.

After that experience, I was "turned on" to spinning, so I bought a whole fleece (dirty) and set to work on preparing it. OH MY GAWD! It was awful.

I gave the rest of the dirty wool to a friend who does historical re-enacting. She was thrilled, and so was I. I will never buy a dirty fleece again.....EVER.

I still enjoy spinning, but I buy my wool at fiber fairs, already washed and prepared and dyed lovely colors. It's much more satisfying to me.

Sister, you said it all. I did the same thing, started knitting - got hooked, got a drop spindle - got hooked, got a wheel -got hooked, bought raw fleece so I could be a "real spinner from scratch" and after washing and picking and carding and spinning about a sixteenth of what I own have decided to never, never, never buy raw wool again. We do however have mills in Oregon and that is precisely where the remainder of my initial purchase of raw fleece is going.

I adore spinning, I like dyeing fibre and I like to knit.

Washing raw wool, carding, picking poop and buying enough Dawn to degrease a small beach - eh, not so much.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:26 AM   #12
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Like most anything else dealing with fiber arts, prep goes a long way when scouring a fleece.
I'll spend a few hours picking over a fleece, shaking out VM, discarding wool with burrs or poop. I skirt it viciously, removing leg, belly, neck & britchen wool. It all goes into the compost pile or directly in the garden for mulch.
Then I make sure all the 2nd cuts are picked out, then will separate the rest of the fleece by color, or staple length or fineness.
Next, I open the tips of each and every lock.
Yup, a lot of prep before the fleece hits the washer, but it sure saves time, water and detergent because I can generally get a fleece clean with one wash and one rinse with vinegar. It also saves time in prepping the fiber for spinning, since it is already picked and VM removed. If I didn't feel like carding or combing the locks, I can spin right after the fleece dries!

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