Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning time for All The Fleeces.  Last week I hauled out the bin of fleeces I'd picked up from the stash at my sister's farm earlier in the year (when there were false hopes for an early spring). 
I may have over-filled it.  I wasn't counting how many I grabbed. I was simply trying to get relatively whole bundles separated from the mass in the cooler weather.

Turned out a lot of this was no good. I tossed over half of it in the garbage - including entire fleeces in addition to the parts I didn't want from fleeces.  Some of it looked moldy in the centre of a roll.  Eww.  I'm not sure if that was from me unpacking it from the large bundle and keeping it stuffed in a rubbermaid for over a month or if it was packed in the bundle damp long ago. I'm not too worried - since there's more fleeces where these came from. I just hope that, if it was in the bundle, not too many more are damaged. As I think about it, the weather on the day I pulled them from the farm was raining heavily. I was in the cover of the barn/storage the entire time because I backed the van right in, but the damp weather may have already lodged in the fleeces and then I stuffed them into a plastic bin.  Fingers crossed that was the problem.


Some of it was "I want to squish you" and "this is why I love fleeces!" lovely!
fluffy! Even after years neglected in a sack.

I heavily skirted the good fleeces (I'm so picky now!).  The weather had been warm for long enough that the open rain barrel was no longer a giant block of ice and didn't have an iceberg floating on top either.  Transferred the water into my rubbermaid (I dumped out last year's FSM vat rather than try to store it in -30*C termperatures!) and immersed one large mesh bag and a smaller zippered bag.

Today I drained the bags after several days of soaking. I know it's not a full FSM vat at this point, but I wanted to see what a cold soak does as I develop the vat. I separated the fleece into smaller sections and gave each a good swishing in a fresher bucket of rainwater.  Most of the brown tips were cleared up leaving me with relatively clean fleece.

All is now drying outside and a new sack is soaking.
I have two more sacks waiting for a soaking and they have very greasy fleece. I'm wanting to remember to keep that fleece separate as I expect it will need extra scouring.