Today I finally finished washing up my fleece I bought at Shepherds Harvest in May. It is a beautiful, totally awesome, Romney X Corridale. I am super snobby and its really soft. It got second in its category for judging because it was “too yellow” but um, it was just a messy sheep. It washed up beautifully to a bright white, great crimp, and long staple. I took a leap and decided to attempt washing in my – gulp – machine! I think its maybe a misnomer to say I actually washed it in the machine. What I really did was use my washing machine as a large bucket that fills water without me having to run back and forth to the sink. Sorted out the fleece into lingerie bags (it was already well skirted, exceptionally clean for competition and I did absolutely NOTHING to prep it, well worth any extra money I spent on the auction.) Then I filled up the basin with hot water (just the setting on my machine) then stopped the machine and put in a few pumps of Power Scour. Added the fiber, pushed it down (with a detergent bottle because water was hot and I didn’t have my gloves on.) Let it soak 15 min, then drained out the water. Did this twice. Then did a warm water soak and then skipped it to the spin cycle and let it run. I was terrified of this part! But my thought is a) the fiber was already cooled down and b) the spin doesn’t really agitate after it gets going so its very little risk of felting. Because I was scared, I did actually override the safety feature of my machine and kept the lid open and used a pen to push the lever down so it thought the lid was down. Worked great! Next I did another luke warm soak but this time added Fibre Rinse. Brought the bags outside and let them dry in the wind. Fleece is now lovely & clean and ready to spin!
So yeah, got my Shepherds Harvest fiber spun up just in time to go to North Country Fiber Fair. Yeah. I know.