Isn’t she lovely

Isn’t she beautiful…

Romney handspun

I’ve been playing around with that Romney fleece I got late last year. I’ve been doing things here and there since I washed it: I first hand-carded some of it into rolags and spun some test yarn, and more recently I scored a Pat Green drum carder on Craigslist and carded some of the fleece for real.

Pat Green Drum Carder Romney batt

I’ll need some more practice, I think, but I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far. This yarn is around aran to bulky weight, a little thick and thin, very light and lofty. It’s only an ounce and three-quarters, so I’ll have to card and spin up more if I expect to make anything out of it. Still, it’s a start!

Romney handspun

And, over the holidays, I finally broke out the dyes I bought a while ago and dyed up seven 4-ounce batches of fleece in various colors. These were dyed in a crockpot using Dharma dyes.

Dyed Romney fleece

I’ll be carding these as well, and hope to come up with some really pretty batts. Wish me luck!

Fun with fleece

So, if you remember from my last post, I bought 5 lbs of raw Romney wool off of Craigslist. Last week, I separated the fleece into five piles, approx 1 lb each. This weekend I washed 2 lbs. of it, using lingerie bags and our washing machine. This is actually the dirtiest two sections of the fleece. I figure I can practice on this and save the good stuff for last. :)

Romney fleece

I flicked the tips before putting them in the bags, because during a test run of 1 lb. last weekend, the tips didn’t seem to wash well.

Romney fleece

To wash, I let it soak for 30 minutes in hot water and Dawn dishwashing detergent in my washing machine, spun it dry, then did it again. To rinse, I soaked it for 20 minutes in plain warm water, spun it dry, then did it again.

Romney fleece

After all the water was spun out, I took it upstairs and laid it out on a sweater drying rack. The picture only shows a pound (well, less now that the dirt and lanolin is washed out). The other bundle is drying in a kid’s toy net hanging under my table.

Romney fleece

The fleece got a really nice white, though some of the tips are a little yellow. That should blend fine when it’s carded, as the wool itself is undamaged. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to dye this batch or just try spinning it undyed. We’ll see!

I’ve gone off the deep end

Well, as if all this spinning and knitting isn’t enough, I decided I’m going to try processing some raw fleece. I know, what’s wrong with me? I can barely keep up with the hobbies I have!

Anyway, I scored about 5 lbs of very clean Romney fleece this week on Craigslist. The sheep’s name is Valerie, and the fleece was taken this year. It was covered, so veggie matter is minimal, and already skirted and sorted. It looks like it’ll be a lovely creamy white after it’s clean.

Romney fleece

Speaking of cleaning, that’s next. That’ll be an adventure as well. It has a lot of lanolin in it, so it smells very sheepy! After I wash it, I’ll need to card it, and spin. I might try dyeing some of it too. Wish me luck!