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 Shetland Fleece
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Zack2849
Warming Up

USA
79 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  2:11:34 PM  Show Profile  Send Zack2849 a Yahoo! Message Send Zack2849 a Private Message
Hi Crew!

I have a lovely Shetland fleece (lamb, ewe) that I picked up at the NY Sheep and Wool Fest....nonetheless, it was sheared just a couple of weeks ago and the fibers move nicely in the grease.

With that said, I'm considering spining the fleece in the grease...any suggestions, recommendations or general thoughts about this - before I begin. I haven't spun any quanity in the grease.

Thanks,
Joe

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  2:19:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Spin some and see how you like it! Some folks love spinning in the grease, some hate it. I don't care for it in most instances because my hands feel dirty after...

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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Zack2849
Warming Up

USA
79 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  5:47:19 PM  Show Profile  Send Zack2849 a Yahoo! Message Send Zack2849 a Private Message
Since this one's very clean and freashly sheared, it's full of lanolin and my hands were really soft after a trial spin.

With my sample, it seemed that I found myself needing to put more twist. Perhaps it a product of the lanolin 'faking me out' that I thought I had more twist than I really did.

I finished my swatch....it's really softer than I thought it would be...very pleased with that and what a nice loft. It spins like a dream. Since I only have 2lbs. of it I welcome any suggestions and project ideas.

Thanks!
Joe
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petiteflower
Chatty Knitter

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  6:18:40 PM  Show Profile Send petiteflower a Private Message
I have only spun in the grease enough to make the yarn for one pair of socks. The wool was very clean looking and I was pretty new to spinning and had always heard of spinning in the grease as something that was groovy, a lot of "in the grease" yarn was spun up during that revival period that spinning went through in the late sixties and early seventies. So, hey, let's give this a whirl and maybe save all that trouble of washing the wool beforehand! Yep.

But think about it. The cleanest looking raw wool is still loaded with DIRT and very dirty dirt it is. Raw fleece has lain in or very near manure, it is loaded with dusty dirt that clings to the lanolin and other grease. I don't want that getting caught up in my yarn. It doesn't all wash out of yarn like it does out of raw fleece.
Just wash a small sinkful of your clean-looking fresh locks and see how brown the water turns. Might as well start eating off the floor also, I mean, how many things do you willingly find yourself doing where you are handling something THAT DIRTY! And don't get me wrong, I am not a compulsive cleanliness freak, I am VERY relaxed as a housekeeper. But having the unwashed coat of a barnyard animal in my lap as I serenely card and spin does not add up. And, when I'm in the process of washing raw fleece, I am very diligent about washing my own hands often, not touching my face or food after having touched dirty fleece. IT'S DIRTY. PERIOD! Another thing that really turns me off about raw fleece is the smell of sheep. Sheep are not easily confused with lavendar! I am always pleased when the fleece and the ODOUR have parted company.

And, even if you love the smell of sheep, and you don't mind dirt getting trapped in your yarn, and if you can get past the thought of all the parasites that sheep can have, you are never going to have the ease of drawing during spinning with raw fleece as you will have once it is washed. There is just too much grease there.
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  6:27:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
LOL So obviously PetiteFlower doesn't care for spinning in the grease!

If you have two pounds, you can likely make a sweater, depending on the size and how thickly spun you go. You'll end up with very water resistant yarn as long as you choose to leave the grease in there, so it would make a nice outer wear garment.


"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  6:43:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Ahh, but 2 lbs in the grease won't be 2 lbs washed. Still ought to be able to make a sweater. I always read that the aran sweaters had a little lanolin left in so they would shed water.

No opinion much about spinning in the grease. I have done it with a little polwarth and a little correadale. But then - I adore washing the stuff and playing with it and smelling it. Must have been a sheep in a former life.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2345 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  8:01:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message
If you want to go ahead and spin in the grease, you can soak the fleece overnight or for 8-10 hours in cold water, no soap or detergent, and it will remove a lot of the dirt and other contaminants from the wool, but will not affect the lanolin. I personally don't spin in the grease very much at all, because I am not really fond of flicking. I will not use my hand cards or drum carder on grease fleece, even rinsed, so flick carding is my preferred way to open up the locks, and I don't really enjoy doing it for more than a sample. Even for some of the nicest fleeces that I have used, I prefer to wash them

Shetland has very low grease, usually, so it will be an interesting one for you to try if you decide to go ahead with the "in the grease" method.

Shelia
www.letstalkstash.blogspot.com
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Andy
Seriously Hooked

USA
774 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  1:00:36 PM  Show Profile Send Andy a Private Message
Love spinning in the grease. Love the smell of lanolin throughout the house when soaking a dirty fleece. Love it all. Takes all kinds, I'm the kind that loves it.

Andy-wommon
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  2:12:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Spinning in the grease is very common over here! I actually love the smell of wool straight off the sheep's back! Even the smell of shearing sheds!

You could always comb the staples with a dog comb if you don't want to use a flick carder. The short draw (inchworm) method would probably be the best rather than long draw for spinning. Washing a small sample of the spun yarn before it is knitted up will show how much twist you should use. If the skeins are washed before knitting the dirt etc is more likely to be cleaned thoroughly. I have never had a problem of yarn still being dirty if I do this.

One final thing is that you should ensure that your tetanus vaccination is up-to-date.

KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  2:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Good point about the tetenus, and it's valid for anyone who processes fleece - in the grease or not!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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