THREE Bags Full?

Tomorrow is the second day of the two-part spinning class.  Our homework was to wash and card the fleece we were sent home with last week.  To see the washing process, my friend and classmate Rosanne  documented it far better than I could have.  Just imagine me, with a bucket in our hallway bathroom, with Sissy very literally standing on my back.  Well, her front feet were on my back anyway, and she was sure trying to peer over my shoulder. 

After leaving it out overnight and all day yesterday, I sat down to card it on the back deck yesterday.  There’s the happy fleece, at least as clean and happy as it is going to get at my house.  I used Alberto VO5 shampoo, because that’s what I could put my hands on while Sissy stood on my back.  (Thanks Anne, or whichever house guest left it there for my moment of need.)

Let the carding begin!  I’ll admit I’m not great at feeding the fleece onto the carder, but short of improving my technique tonight, I’m as good as I’m going to get.  Rosanne said she didn’t mind the washing, but I did.  It was stinky, and watching our lovely Virginia red clay run and run and run from the fleece wasn’t my idea of fun. 

Here’s a little mid-carding shot for you.   Basically, these are giant slicker brushes (like for rough coated terrier and/or horses) and you just rake and flip until it looks even enough to suit.

More dragging of the paddles, and you get to a point where you want to flip the fibers around a bit so you can look for more debris to pick out.  This shot is a flip or two into the process, just before the rolag is made.

Here are a couple of rolags.  I love the variations, based on what “wads” of fleece I grabbed and put on the carder.  I suspect in the hands of a more skilled washer and carder, the rolags would be closer to the same size, but whatever.  I created 14 of those fellas yesterday, and due to the rain in the forecast, they’re hanging out on the guest bed, with the door shut, because even good Mugsy might think they look like the fluff he pulls out of toys with much delight.

There were injuries too.  I scraped the devil out of two fingers on my left hand (carding and Sissy aren’t a good mix, but she’s fine and I took the hit), and finished up with yet another splinter in my poor right foot.  The Knight has announced I *WILL* wear shoes on the deck now.  Right…  What’s the point of having a deck and spring weather if I have to wear shoes?!

I predict I have at least twice as many rolags to go.  The Knight merely noted that homework isn’t supposed to be fun.  I’m not about to pull an all-nighter with the carders.  I think the fleece is self-replentishing somehow…

16 comments on “THREE Bags Full?

  1. Wendy says:

    Boy that’s a lot of work… don’t think I’m interested in the whole process thing. I think I’ll just buy my knitting materials after someone else has done the hard work.

  2. Ugh…thank you for the reminder why I don’t want to spin! As to the deck and spring weather, Crocs makes very nice thongs (flip flops to the young). Surely the KNight cannot grudge you a pair for the deck? (wink)

  3. Ugh…thank you for the reminder why I don’t want to spin! As to the deck and spring weather, Crocs makes very nice thongs (flip flops to the young). Surely the KNight cannot grudge you a pair for the deck? (wink)

  4. Bubblesknits says:

    Ick. I prefer my wool washed, carded, dyed, and braided. And delivered to my door by the cute little UPS guy. LOL

  5. StarSpry says:

    Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! I’m not sure I’d really enjoy doing that, either.

    Glad you had fun at your Knit Night!

  6. fireflynights says:

    Not fun, but we only need to do it for the class. Think about all those who went before us for whom this was the only way, and they did it without benefit of running water and a washing machine spin cycle. And, if they didn’t spin and knit it as soon as they prepared it, I’m sure it made great nesting places for all kinds of little creatures. My little rolag collection is just getting stuffed into zip loc bags. Don’t know if I’ll get it all done.

  7. Dianne says:

    It’s a well-known fact that if you buy 5 pounds of raw fleece, it magically turns itself into 25 pounds of stinky stuff to wash and rinse and comb and card and roll. The pile just magically grows and grows the harder you work, or the shorter the deadline. Oh, and somewhere in the far distant future when you are finished with the (supposed) 5 pounds, you end up with about 2 ounces of wool to spin. Treat yourself to already prepared fiber. You’re worth it!
    Oh, I forgot…you’re not going to become a spinner. No, indeedy. Hmmmmm. 🙂

  8. crimsonpurl says:

    Wow…see I just want the fleece already to go in roving! LOL Too much work with all that carding! Haha!
    Glad you are enjoying your homework!

  9. Amanda says:

    Wow, you’re really doing the whole process in this class! I think of spinning class as: here is roving. Here is how to spin. Here are the millions of techniques you can do to spin. You’ll be a pro in no time!

  10. AlisonH says:

    Just watch out for fleece-stealing squirrels, right?…

  11. Anita says:

    I’m with Jessi, let the UPS guy bring it! UGH, that’s way too much stinky mess & hard work. I guess it would make you appreciate the finished product more now that you know what goes into it… however those big manufacturers probably have machines that do all that!

    Hate splinters! Flip flops are a good idea! I live in my flip flops!! 🙂

  12. Anita says:

    YEAH! I can leave comments tonight!! LOL

  13. Robin in VA says:

    Oooooh, that’s going to be wonderful to spin!

  14. Nancy says:

    Here’s a question…why don’t the sheep get washed before they get haircuts? LOL. I have decided, I will leave the spinning and dyeing to other more talented crafters. I don’t have enough time to knit as it is!

  15. Mary says:

    Wow..lots of work, more than I thought…kinda reminds me of an after brushing an angora Yeh, I’d have to hire someone to do that
    Glad your learning new stuff though, gives ya more sense of what goes into the making of the yarn we love so much!
    Have a great weekend!

  16. insanknitty says:

    oooh injuries! I hope you’re ok! I’m so looking forward to enjoying some of your spring temps.. and bare feet… oh yeah.. gotta find my crocs! 😉

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