Isn’t it floofy?! Pardon my squee, but I love washing fleece. There’s something magical about watching all the grunge disappear and seeing the reveal of gorgeous, squooshable wool. The lock above is a Cormo/Merino cross yearling fleece. It was the first fleece I washed this year.
It doesn’t look as nice when you start. Kinda dirty, and greasy, and it smells like, well, sheep. I’ve come to love that smell, as it means new fluff is on the way!
Washing from raw gives me a chance to get to know my wool. Sometimes, I pre-sort the locks. This one is Norsk Pelssau, which I had never played with before.
Here you can see two rows each of 3 different samples from the same breed (and some Cormo/Merino drying in the back). Handwashing is a great way to get to know the characteristics of a new breed.
That’s today’s project, a particularly grungy BFL. I love how, even when it’s filthy, it has the most gorgeous curly purly bits! The part in the lower right corner of that pic almost looks like boucle to me. And then, once it’s all washed and dried, hopefully I’ll end up with something like this:
How can you say no to that?! Freshly washed fleece is one of those fiber arts joys you just have to experience.
While I have quite a few sources for fleece now (most of which I guard fiercely; there’s only so much wool a sheep can grow between shearings!), I’ve recently enjoyed purchasing smaller quantities of new-to-me breeds from The Spinning Loft
. The Norsk Pelssau, Gammelnorsk Sau, and Icelandic pictured above all came from there, along with this lovely Scottish Blackface:
No affiliation, I’m just happy to recommend The Spinning Loft because everything I got was wonderful quality. They have a great selection of breeds to choose from, and the smaller quantities might be less intimidating for some than the idea of a full fleece. Go! Try!