An ongoing Love Affair
Dirty sheep and I have a thing. Or maybe its just me that has a thing for them, its totally unfair how unreciprocated this relationship is. I've enjoyed most of the raw fleece I've worked with on some level but long wools make me lose my mind a little and I tend to end up with 10lb amounts at a time. This has happened to me quite a few times with romney fleeces, its a common breed in the states as well as New Zeland and Australia and I suppose its common for a reason because romney wool is just this fabulous stuff! There is a lot of variance within the breed and I have a fair amount of bouncy, fairly fine Romney wool. I also just got around to washing this 4 oz sample of a typical but beautiful romney fleece, long, lustorous locks. It was my gift from the wonderful natchwoolie for trading an insane amount of dollars for an equally insane amount of wool. This was a totally fair trade and I feel like I made out like a bandit but I'm, um, running out of space and money for this sort of thing. But since I haven't bought new clothes for myself since 2 babies ago I tend to overlook this type of indulgence. The staple length on this wool has to be at least 6 inches. Here it is dirty, greasy and golden with lanolin:
My wool washing method is the typical, arranging of locks in the same direction in a lingere bag. I give a soak in 140 degree canning pot of water and a big squirt of dish soap, and then as many rinses as it takes to run clean.
I washed the 4oz of white romney along with some coated black coopworth. Coopworth is a new breed for me to work with and I got 4 oz from a wool and dairy farmer via Homestead. This wool has a tighter, less distinct crimp. Its wonderfully free of vegetable matter and pretty coarse, who knows what this will be, I'll have to pet it a while first.
And here are my lovlies all clean and shiny and begging to be spun straight from the lock. I think the white romney is begging to be a sock, it would wear so well. The crimp is pretty open so I'm not sure the fabric will have great memory but it seems like it would wear so well. And be so shiny! We'll see what we can do about it post Christmas, shall we?