My mother went to a farm to buy some eggs, told the farmer that I was learning to spin, and was sent home with a GIGANTIC fleece, which is now out in the back garage at my parents home on Vancouver Island. When I visited, I peeked in on in fearfully… and brought a little tiny piece home in a ziplock to ponder.

It sat on the pile for a little while, and I regarded it with suspicion, but eventually it had to be dealt with!!

raw wool before washing

raw wool before washing

washing wool

washed and dried wool

So here are the photos in order, from dirty stinky, horrible mass of fur, to something that almost seems spinnable.

I just washed it in really hot water with dish soap, and I repeated it 3 times, and then rinsed a couple of times. Then I set it out to dry.

I’m certain this isn’t the nicest or gentlest way I could have processed this wool, but I’m no expert! And I had no idea how clean it would come, but it looks pretty good now. Some of the tips are a little stained, but not too bad.  And, most importantly, it doesn’t smell like poo anymore!!

My question now is, what is the cheapest most accessible set of tools I can use to card or comb this so it’s ready to spin?

I used some little plastic combs, which really didn’t work at all, and fluffed enough wool up to spin a tiny little test. It’s not terribly soft, but it’s easy to spin!

I want to try some more, but I need tools…

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I am the luckiest and most well loved daughter-in-law in the world! My birthday present: 820 yards of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica!! WOW am I excited to start a project with this! I have been itching to try knitting with this yarn since I first saw it; and now it has arrived on my door. Swatches to follow… soon…

dampcity-recycledyarn-bulkywool-greyblue-closeA successful thrift store visit has made my stash 3 sweaters and one hand-knit scarf richer. The scarf is unraveled; it’s a bulky single-ply wool or wool blend, and I think there’s enough to make some kind of a vest. Or matching felted kitchen goodies like oven mitts and coasters? I tested, and it takes acid dyes well. [click on pictures for larger versions] dampcity-recycledyarn-rayonangora-red

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The second lovely find is a brilliant red rayon/nylon/angora blend, which is half-unraveled, producing a single-ply heavy lace-weight yarn, which has an amazing sheen, drape, and softness. Maybe something lacy?

dampcity-recycledyarn-linen-close

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The third item, which I am VERY excited about, is a large, men’s 100% linen pullover. I’ve never worked with linen, and I can’t wait to try it – I’m thinking it might be right for the ‘Silk Camisole’ pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts [see knit and tonic’s version].

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dampcity-recycledyarn-angorablend-pinkLastly, the ‘dog’ of the bunch is a wool/angora/nylon sweater, at quite a fine gauge. The fabric is actually not as soft as it could be, and a more pilled than I noticed when I grabbed it. But we’ll see, it could become something quite lovely, and the less precious I am with my recycled yarns, the more free I feel to go wild experimenting in the dye-pot. Maybe I’ll dye a bunch of smallish hanks into a rainbow, and then knit something striped, or hold yarns together for shifting color combinations.

Yummmmm… so many possibilities.