I was surfing on Ravelry last week and got hooked on the Suint Soaking threads in the Fibre Prep Group.  I have used this method in the past but more through lack of time than conscious effort.  I like the idea of chemical free processing – I use hot water & Morning Fresh for most scouring followed by a soak in Wool Wash – and I have the space, plenty of rain water (it’s all we have here) and plenty of fleeces to process.  I pulled out a fleece, spread it on the trampoline and gave it a more thorough skirting.  I think I have finally learned to throw fleece away instead of trying to save every little bit – I have over 30 kg of the stuff and another 12 fleeces to come in a few weeks…..how much do I need really!?!

This first photo is the “outside” hence the brown from all the weathering, dust & sunlight – much of this will wash out and the bleached tips that remain will either be cut off or retained to give colour tone through out the yarn.

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This is the side of the fleece that was closest to the sheep’s skin, it has beautiful colour variation through it from browns to grey to silver.  I will probably divide up the colours when the fleece is clean and dry and then bundle them up together.

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Beautiful greys:

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I put the fleeces into some buckets lying around and put the cold water on top:

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In the black bag I had the remainder of the fleece but as the wool became wet I was able to fit more in and eventually I got the whole lot in:

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At this point I left it to soak and topped up the water as required – I will have a look at it in the next few days – I am thinking it will take 7-10 days being the first fleece to go in and I put it in last Thursday.  When I take it out I will rinse it a few times, see how it feels (i.e. how greasy), probably soak it in wool wash (because I like the way the wool smells after it :)), spin it in the front loader and then dry it.  I am thinking I might flick and card up this fleece and sell it as batts on Etsy – my drumcarder seems to make quite nice 22-25g batts …. time permitting!

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