This year, I’m doing something about my fleece stash. Specifically, I’m going to do something about the washed and unwashed fleece stuffed into the corners of my craft room. Here are the rules:
- If a fleece is unwashed, I will wash it! All the spinning blogs are telling me how dangerous it is to store it dirty.
- If a fleece is unprocessed, I will process it. This might mean hand carding (I don’t have a machine) or simply arranging the fiber appropriately for spinning from the lock. Maybe I’ll learn to comb fleece. Maybe I’ll resort to sending my fleece to a mill for processing.
- If washed fleece is unspun, I will spin it. Not that there is really any special urgency after I get it all washed up, but I need to prove to myself that I can make yarn from raw fleece–a mental hurdle I mean to conquer.
- Once my fleece is spun, I will knit with it. A sweater from raw fleece, I’m bound and determined.
Many of you have probably heard about Clara Parkes and her Great White Bale.
In 2013, I procured a very special, 676-pound bale of superfine Saxon Merino—my Great White Bale—and took it to mills and dyers around the country to see what we could do with it.
Nestled in the corner of my craft room, I have my very own great white bale: a creamy white Texel fleece I purchased and split with my mother. I’m starting with this one because mom already took care of the washing for both of us. She even sorted it into three categories for me:
- Best quality
- Belly Wool (check for tenderness)
Best mom ever.
This weekend I spent hours flicking the locks, then hand carding the locks into rolags.
A large bundle of fluffy rolags now rests next to the couch by the wheel. Ready to spin.