Carbonel (carbonel) wrote in handspinning,

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Tour de Fleece 2012

I have successfully completed my Tour de Fleece project! Last year, I had those three bags of dirty Suffolk fleece that turned into two bags of skirted and (eventually) washed fleece. It was about half white and half gray, and I sorted it into two bags. I finished the white fleece over rather a while, but the gray fleece I decided to do as my TdF project. I started it the day after TdF started, and finished plying the last skein on Saturday morning.

Here's the bag that used to be full -- it's about three feet high:

bag of fleece

And here's the 15 skeins of hand-carded, long-draw-spun yarn that resulted. My goal was worsted weight, and I think I did fairly well in achieving it.

15 skeins

And here's a closeup of one representative skein.

1 skein close-up
Tags: carding, handspun yarn
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Washing is my bottleneck too. I'm currently trying to take a fleece from having shorn the sheep myself through to making something useful out of it - but getting around to washing it is proving elusive. I want to take the sheep's owner some socks when I go back to do his sheep again, but at this rate he'll only get a doily!@

Also, your wool came up lovely. What are you going to use it for?
Washing started out as not so much a bottleneck as a complete roadblock, until someone pointed out that doing it in small batches in a bucket was one way to go. That's what works for me. I take as much as will fit reasonably in a 3-gallon bucket, and do two 20-minute soaks with detergent, and two 20-minute soaks with just hot water to rinse, then stick it in a lingerie bag and run it through the spin cycle in my top-loading washer. (Warning: this will not work with a front-loader, I've been told.) And then I spread it out to dry. By the next day, it's dry, and I start all over again.

As for the wool, I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but I think I'm going to dye it. I've been resisting doing that, but all that white and gray is kind of boring, and I have a number of friends who dye and have offered to help me. After that, we'll see. There's enough for a sweater, but I suspect it'd be rather scratchy. So maybe hats and scarves.
Congratulations on a project well done! And thanks for sharing!
Great progress, congrats! The yarn looks so springy!
Lovely! I'm in the middle of selling some fleece that I have sadly neglected and will probably never wash- kudos for you to sticking through all that!
Lovely! What a great accomplishment. :)