It seems that my primary focus this summer has been fleece and fleece prep. I love it so much more than I ever imagined. I walked into this experience saying “I am not going to like this, but I want to do it once so I can say I understand the process.” I was so mistaken. I think flick carding is just about the most relaxing and satisfying job ever. I don’t look at a clean fleece and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. In fact, the opposite is true. I actually feel a bit selfish and jealous at the thought of anyone helping me with it.
So, the other night I sat out all evening long. It was one of those stunningly gorgeous days, somewhere between 70 and 75F, sunny, and breezy. I looked at the bag of fleece left to be flick carded and said to myself “I shall sit outside flick carding until the bag is complete or until it storms, whichever happens first.” And that is what I did, I sat on the porch until late in the evening, when it got dark. But I did get the entire bag done, and now I have a bag of chocolately brown flick carded fleece!
This is the first fleece I owned, the CVM Romeldale lamb fleece from a lamb called Sepia.
It is good I made so much progress, because in addition to the jacob fleece I picked up at the Iowa Sheep & Wool festival, I had asked my dear friend Carin to keep her eye out for a corriedale fleece at the Estes Park Wool Market. She did find one for me and one for her, and they are gorgeous! Another small fleece, which I think is good at this point.
This one is white with silver. And ever so dirty! We were actually a bit nervous about these fleece because upon opening the bag they were really very stinky. Overwhelmingly so. We assumed they hadn’t been skirted. Once I pulled it out to check it though, I realized that it had been well skirted, the issue was just dirt. Lots of dirt.
I’d read somewhere that for a really dirty fleece a cold water overnight soak could go a long way to softening up the dirt and getting it started. So that is what I did. I then had to give it 5 hot water washes and 2 hot water rinses. The tips are still full of dirt, but I think at this point it will flick card out. I’ve taken a picture of locks, washed and unwashed, to show just how amazing this fleece looks once it is clean!
What is even more exciting to me is how fantastic this fleece feels. The locks feel downright silky soft. Just amazing!
And now I’ve got the other half of this fleece to clean, but that needs to wait until after Bug does Saturday laundry! While the hot water is super hot, I should probably sort and clean the jacob fleece too.