Last week I attended the Olds College Master Spinner Level 1 class. It was amazing and inspiring and I am brimming with new knowledge and the desire to get my hands dirty with some wool. Which is good, because I have a LOT of homework!
I am a self taught spinner. Over the past 4 years I have attempted to make heads or tails of the meaning of the terms; worsted, wollen, forward draw, backward draw, long draw, and all the semi- terms. This class filled in those gaps for me. But that was not even the best part of this class.
The very best part of this class was a grasp on what to do with the 16 pounds of sort of washed merino sitting in my closet. There was a post last summer about the original washing of said fleece. My mentor and I did not wash it at a high enough temp to get all the lanolin out. Essentially I have been spinning it in the grease. I have been plodding along on rewashing it, and felt it was daunting. Not only did I have to rewash all 16pound of that fleece. I still have 2 more in my garage that are raw!!!!! I was able to see the process from start to finish. It was very uplifting and I now feel that what seem daunting, is now manageable.
The past few days I have been rewashing about a pound of that white fiber. I washed 8 oz in very hot water (@120) and scoured another 8 oz in near boiling water (150). The first 8 oz I mordented in an Alum bath and then dyed with the spent cochineal dye bath from our workshop. As soon as my camera charges I will add pictures. I am very pleased with the results. Next will be to put the fiber through my drum carder, which I expect will be MUCH easier as there won’t be any lanolin left in the wool.