Lookee, lookee what I did yesterday!! The sun was shinin' (today? not so much). So I decided to take advantage and bust out with some spring cleanin' of the fibery kind.
Remember the bag of raw locks I bought at an estate sale a few weeks back? This bag, full of lambie locks, Cotswold is the best guess. Seemed like the perfect candidate for a bath. First task was to de-poo ball the locks. I do believe this is my least favorite part about being a yarnie! Also had to remove some thorns & other farm-related detritus. Was kinda relaxing after awhile, though.
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.
That first shot, in the upper left, is my "assembly line". Did a hot soapy soak, then a warm soapy soak, and finally a cool vinegar soak to remove any lingering "sheepy" smell (some like it, but I'm not a fan). Each soak was 20 minutes, give or take, & since I'm out of the wool scour I like, I used Ecover, an eco-friendly dish soap. These locks had a minimal amount of lanolin, so I didn't worry much about how hot the water was. I used the round basin I already had (thrifted, of course), and trotted next door to the animal adoption thrift store that is our neighbor in search of a 2nd basin; found the bus tray for $1, which was perfect for the lingerie bags I used to hold batches of locks. Still wanted a round basin, so went to the Ace Hardware next to the thrift & talked them into giving me the big round basin in the photo; it was being used to hold nitrile gloves, not for sale, & just right for my purposes, plus they didn't have anything on offer that was the size I was looking for. So they just gave it to me!
After the locks came out of their baths, they got salad spinnered & then headed to the drying rack you see there, custom-built for me by my talented hubn Cole, where they stayed, drying in the afternoon sun. All told, it was about 5 hours of work for 2lbs. of fiber, and although the results are good, I didn't see any real difference between the batches of locks I babied and the ones at the end that just got thrown in, willy-nilly. So next time I might just go back to the washing machine method, rather than hand washing them.
It was a great day to spend outside, felt like a really productive day, and I can't wait to dye these suckers up! As soon as I hear about my dye order, I'll start thinking about some new colorways. Stay tuned!