Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On washing fleece

I've procrastinated about this post like crazy, but now I have something to show for it! You see, last April I bought a paper shopping bag full of brown and white Finn fleece, a bit completely unwashed and most hosed down with cold water, and I was happy. At least until I got home and started sorting it. The pile of dirty white on the left all went to the rubbish bin.

Parempi myöhään kuin ei milloinkaan! Ostin pussillisen villaa lammasmarkkinoilta huhtikuussa. Kuvasta näkyy ettei se ollut kovin ihmeellistä, likaisenvalkoinen kasa vasemmassa reunassa on menossa kokonaan roskiin.

The cold-washed bits turned out to be mostly skirtings with yellow stain, lots of vegetable matter (VM), and what's worse, they were matted. Felting is caused by heat, agitation and alkaline environment (and I suspect, water) - sometimes only one of these is enough, and Finn is famous for being good for felting. I did try to spin some of the white in the grease, but quickly decided that a hot wash wouldn't hurt.

Osa villoista oli suihkutettu kylmällä vedellä, mutta siinä oli silti vielä likaa ja heinänsilppua ja se oli pesussa takkuuntunut. Kehruuta kokeiltuani päätin pestä siitä lanoliinin ja lian pois.

I used an old mesh curtain to lift the fleece out of the water, and did the first was with hot water (the hottest that came from the tap, with some boiling water added) and regular dish soap. For the dirtiest bits, I did two soaks with dish soap for about 10-15 minutes and took the fibre out before it had cooled off. Then I did several rinses in water that was only warm, and finished by spinning out the excess water from fibre in the big spin dryer our apartment building's laundry (also inside the mesh curtain to keep the machine clean). Next time I'll start with a cold water soak overnight to get the loose dirt out, since it would've saved me the second soapy wash and probably a few rinses, and softened out those tips that had been stuck together with dirt.

Käytin vanhaa valoverhoa villan siirtelyyn, ja pesin kuumassa vedessä tavallisella tiskiaineella, lisäten hanaveteen vähän kiehuvaa vettä. Liotin vain 10-15 minuuttia ettei villa ehtinyt jäähtyä, pesin toistamiseen saippualla jos vesi näytti vielä mustalta ja huuhtelin useampaan kertaan lämpimässä vedessä. Lopuksi linkosin vedet pois talopesulan isossa lingossa (verhon sisällä, tottakai). Ensi kerralla liotan villoja ensin kylmässä vedessä, niin pahimmat liat lähtevät eikä tarvitse sitten kuuman kanssa lotrata niin paljon.

It took a few weekends, but by June everything was washed and dried. The bit of brown wool that had been freshly sheared was also washed, and it taught me the importance of NO AGITATION! The cut ends got a bit matted together...

Kesäkuulle siinä meni ennen kuin kaikki oli pesty. Opin samalla ettei märkää villaa parane sörkkiä - mukana oli ollut vähän vastakerittyäkin villaa, jonka leikkuupinnat takkuuntuivat vähän käsittelyssä...

Then the renovation/move came, and spinning took a back seat. In September I took a Ravelry challenge for spinning fleece, and started on the white. Due to the matting, it had to be carded twice: first untangled with the coarse 32 tpi carders, and then made into rolags with the fine 100 tpi ones, and there was still a lot of waste (pile on the top right):

Elokuu kului remontteeratessa, mutta tässä kuussa innostuin Ravelry-haasteesta ja aloitin käsittelemään valkoista villaa. Takut piti ensin selvittää karkeilla karstoilla, ennen kuin villoista sai tehtyä kunnon lepereitä hienommilla - ja vieläkin löytyi roskavillaa (toinen kasa ylhäällä oikealla):

I spun it woolen on a spindle. It all fit!

Kehräsin valkoiset villat värttinällä pitkällä vedolla - kaikki mahtui!

Because I was practicing my woolen spinning, they yarn got a lot of thin spots, but there's a whole 100g skein of it, also plied with a spindle:

Yhteensä sitä on 100g, kertasin sen myös värttinällä. Ohuita kohtia löytyy paljon, koska pitkä veto on vielä hakusessa:

I've sampled the brown, but haven't decided on the yarn specs. We'll see what happens.

Olen ehtinyt tekemään vähän koelankaa ruskeasta, mutten ole vielä päättänyt mitä siitä tulee. Katsotaan.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Coming up for air...

Oof. For the last month I've been renovating and moving. Just 500 metres away, but the new place is much, much nicer - and it's all mine! (And the bank's. But I'm the one with the keys.) There was loads of work to be done, though it may not look like it:

Before and after:

You know, looking at the picture you might be tempted to say that before is better than after (minus the horrid early 90s lamp), but believe you me, picture does not tell all. The old, dirty wallpaper that was full of nail holes is off and the walls have been painted, painting the ceiling white made the room higher, and finally having the old, yellowed and badly scratched birch parquetry floor sanded and refinished made it like a completely new floor.

You might think that I've had no time for anything else, but you'd be wrong. The Tour de Fleece was luckily completed just in time before everything started (and yes, I spun every day and even completed my challenge of spinning silk), but even in the middle of all the fuss I found reaching for my spindle. I've been meaning to talk about my adventures in wool washing since... er... the spring, and this project ties into it. Also, there has been progress with the Bayerische socks, although now that the first one's past the heel, you can't really tell!