At the fiber frolic this year I purchased (Thanks, Mom!) half of a Lincoln fleece.
I now wish I had been able to buy the whole thing. This was the second half, someone else bought the first half. But I thought that since I am just learning about different breeds of sheep and their wool, I should really not risk a whole fleece on unknown-to-me fiber. So at the time, a half fleece was a good option. This is 3 1/2 pounds, and was $5 per pound. Not a bad price I think.
Last nice, since it was so hot and humid and sticky, I decided was a great time to wash some wool. Why do I do that? Anyway, this is what I started with:
The tag says that it will wash up “white, white”. The tag says to see the white sample, but there was no sample to be found. I figured even if it didn’t wash up really white, I really liked the honey color that it is already. That honey color? Washes completely away to reveal this:
Isn’t it beautiful? So glossy and shiny, and WHITE. And super soft. This was only a half-hearted attempt at washing some of the wool. I just grabbed a bunch and soaked (three times) then a rinse soak. I use a salad spinner to pull out a lot of the water. What a great tool that is when cleaning fiber. (I have two, both from the dump) It is still wet–I had it on racks in the tub overnight, but had to take it out so I can take a shower–but in a few days it will be ready to work with.
So now I have a dilemma. I would like to put this through the drum carder to get it ready to spin, but if I do that, those beautiful curls will disappear. Does anyone have any experience with Lincoln fleece? What is the best way to spin this to retain its lovely softness and bounce?
With another nod to buying locally, this fleece is from a farm in Starks. Starks is not really all that far from where I live. A 20-30 minute drive maybe. So theoretically, if I wanted more of this, or something similar, I could contact the people who raise this wool, drive over and get more. I would like to see what other colors or fibers they might have. I will definitely look for them again, perhaps at this year’s Common Ground Fair, but definitely at the Fiber Frolic next year.
Now that I started washing this, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get into the bag. I bet it takes dye beautifully, but the white is so pretty, I can’t decide if it would be a shame or not to dye over it. Oh the possibilities.