Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

So, I am finally washing the fleeces.  I decided to use the lower work method using the washing machine.  I had to turn up the temperature on the hot water heater, I figured that out after the test batch.  The lanolin in that handful sort of laughed at me like, “You need to bring it better than that toots!”.  So I turned up the heat and promptly forgot about it until I tried to wash some dishes. After dropping a handful of scalding hot silverware with such a loud racket that I awoke some of the hibernating cats around the house.  Jiji actually came out to complain with lots of meowing and licking her paw. Doh!  Anyway, there aren’t any pictures as washing fleece isn’t all that picturesque (you try taking a picture of the inside of a washing machine without dropping the camera into the water or something equally as stupid).  Plus, it’s a couple of old pillowcases in dirty water.  How very exciting…..

However, I haven’t made any felted footballs and the test batch was quite a lot cleaner.  I am getting more confident that I can actually take this matted, greasy, dirty, kinda smelly fleece and turn it into some yarn!  I am not sure how long the carding is going to take however…..

The reason that I decided to start washing the fleeces is simple.  The longer that you wait to wash them the harder it gets.  The lanolin actually solidifies and becomes much more difficult to remove.  I also decided that I needed to also get this done prior to the move to the UK.  Moving a few stinky fleeces into the UK may be a little more work than I want, just as moving the three parrotlets is proving to be more complicated than initially expected.  Just as the CITES permit for the birds is nearly in grasp, I am told that I need a special permit in order to fly them out of Orlando.  WHAT?!?!?!  Why wasn’t this mentioned ANYWHERE ELSE!?!?!  And I still have to get a permit from the UK equivalent of the USDA.  Let me tell you, it is a lot easier to take non-feathered pets with you than your feathered ones.  Still, I continue to slog through it all.

It was downright chilly when I woke-up this morning.  If was 55 degrees in the house when I got up, the birds were deeply not happy about this state of affairs.  I had all 4 cats and 2 dogs on the bed making it actually quite cozy.  I was amazed that the cats were able to call a cease-fire for that long of a period of time!  Now, if only they can figure out how to clean the litter box………

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