Friday, 22 June 2012

Washing Perrendale locks the hard way

Yesterday, I was having a bit of a brainstall when it came to spinning.  What I was trying, wasn't working in the least.  I was frustrated.  I walked away from my wheel and took a break.  I decided to do something totally different and picked up the bag of Perrendale fleece I'd purchased earlier this spring.  There is only a pound of it, but it is in lovely, long locks.  I've put off washing it as I wanted to wash it so it kept the lock structure.  That is a fairly time consuming job as I don't have enough space or supplies to do the whole pound at once.    I gently pulled a handful of fleece from the bag and separated each lock, laying all the tips in one direction and the ends in the other, on a square of fibre glass window screening.

I laid several layers of locks over one another.  If one is gentle with washing, the lock structure will hold, despite layering.  I pinned the packet together.  I did this 3 more times as I have only 4 pieces of screening.  I filled the sink with hot water and a squirt of dishsoap, soaking the packets without any swishing or agitation.  I did this 3 times and followed with 3 hot water rinses.  Then I laid the packets outside on the deck benches to dry.  It was hot out and muggy, but it should have still dried.  Later in the afternoon, the packets were still a bit damp, so although the weather had gotten hazy, we ran into town, with me totally forgetting my packets of fibre outside.  On the way home, it was obvious that I had misjudged.  The sky darkened, the winds picked up dramatically and we had thunder, lightening and a torrential downpour.  You could barely see on the way home from the heavy, blowing rain.  It was too wet  and too late to go salvage my poor little packets of fiber.

When the rain stopped, I rescued them.   They were flattened from the intensity of the rain and soaked through.  I pressed some water out of them with a towel and let them dry overnight inside.  Today, it's breezy, cooler and sunny. They spent the better part of the day outside drying, with me worrying about unwrapping a felted mess, since drying had left the packets flat and airless.  However, the first packet is dry and looks to be fine.  The long locks are clean, a bit lighter than I'd anticipated, but a lovely colour, even with the sun bleached tips.   It will take me  a number of days to get through washing the whole pound, but seriously, this will be used for some awesome project... I just am not quite sure what yet :)

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