Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Washing Cormo (and washing, and washing and...)

Not a lot of lace knitting going on here but lots of washing of fleece while it's warm enough to dry the stuff. We are having issues with drought and so I was looking for an alternative to using a washing machine to soak/spin my half Cormo fleece. It's been years since I've tried to wash a fleece and I have no experience with Cormo in my past. All the information on the Internet told me that I would have to wash it more than once and with very hot water since Cormo has a heck of a lot of lanolin in it. What I found is a great method for small amounts of fleece on a blog called "The Independent Stitch" that involved using a kitty litter system that has a nesting "sieve". No agitation, just soaking the dirt away. I did a total of three washes with 20 minutes of soaking (you can't let it cool or the lanolin re-deposits back onto the fleece). I used a combination of hot tap water and water I boiled on the stove and Dawn dish washing detergent as the surfactant. Two rinses with hot water and drip/dry using a two tier sweater drying system I got at the local Chinese dollar store for $4.00. I must say that the fleece came out really nicely and it has just enough lanolin left in it so the fiber doesn't feel dry or lifeless. If you don't agitate it, the structure of the locks is maintained and you can then either flick card or possibly use combs. Now I don't happen to own any combs but I had my eye on a set of mini-combs that might be very nice to try out. I'd consider larger combs but let's face it. If all I'm spinning is lace weight yarn, there is not really any reason to buy 4 pitch English Combs which are the "Freddy Krugers" of the spinning world. Only 8 more rows to finish the "Salmon Queen" doily so I hope to show that on the next post. Good evening to you all :-)