This beautiful 8 pound fleece came all the way from New York. I bought it along with three others (two of which are relatives of Molly). The breed is Border Leicester/Corriedale cross. It has a fantastic staple length with lovely subtle waves and pointy tips. I can’t wait to see how it dyes, but first I need to wash it. Since I couldn’t wait until spring, I got out my trusty “old sheet” and laid the fleece out in the living room. It doesn’t really smell bad. Thankfully the fleece was already skirted and it’s incredibly clean. Hooray for jackets on sheep!
I’m trying something new with this fleece. Often I have seen people line up the locks and place them in mesh pouches before washing. This helps to keep the locks lined up rather than getting tangled. Usually I don’t bother, especially if I’m sending the fleece to a mill for carding. However, this time I plan on dyeing the locks and I want to keep them tidy.
Instead of cutting and pinning my own mesh pouches, I picked up a few lingerie bags at Target for $1.50 each. My time is worth something, right? They are the perfect size to fit three rows of locks and easily reusable. I just don’t know if the fineness of the mesh has any effect on the washing process.
Although, it’s pretty obvious three are not nearly enough! I’ll get some more this week when I’m out. In the meantime I can continue to separate the locks and make piles ready for bagging. I’m excited about this. Usually I just dump the whole hefty fleece into the washing machine. It’s a bit of a pain to maneuver, especially once it gets wet. With the bags, I can easily work in smaller batches, move the bags around to refill the washer, and the locks are already arranged for later. Stay tuned to find out the results…