Sometimes it does all come out in the was and sometimes you have to rely on the next step to take away that last bit of stuff. This week is a washing week. I have 30 pounds of wool to wash to get ready for my next two teaching engagements. When this is done then I have to get started on What Deb Robson needs for her upcoming spring classes.
But I am behind. I need to have this finished and dry before I leave for Vashon Island on February 2! I did a little less than half yesterday. Today’s washing won’t be as much because I am running out of space to dry it all.
I thought I’d show you my set up. Most people won’t be washing the quantities I do but you can see that this is very doable for almost everyone.
This is the utility sink in my laundry room. this is where all of the water comes from and all the squeezing out happens.
How do you like that wallpaper? We’ve been in this house since 1999 and I’ve never redecorated this room. Anyway, you can see that I use my washer and dryer as a counter for the wash tubs during the soaking. Each tub holds between 1 and 2 pounds of wool depending on the breed. The Down types which I’m washing today take up a lot more space than say the Lincoln that I did yesterday so a little less fits in the tubs with enough room for the dirt to move away from the wool.
Here’s a look at the whole thing. Generally I do two soaks with Power Scour and 2 soaks with no detergent. Yesterday I washed some extremely filthy Merino so I did 3 soaks with Power Scour before the rinses. I was willing to do this because the Merino is very long stapled. I think it’s 2 year’s growth and the fiber and crimp are particularly nice. But since it was on the sheep for extra long it was also extra dirty. The wool looked like the sheep had been rolling in mud.
Between washes and rinses I dump everything into the utility sink and squeeze out the extra water as well as I can. This takes away a little bit more of the dirt that is stuck in there.
So here’s one of my drying spots. It’s right outside of Maggie’s room which is across from the laundry room. Poor Maggie. On the floor to the right is Teeswater which is dr already but i need to put it in a bag with a label. On the sweater drying rack is the Merino drying very nicely. the fans have been going for almost 24 hours now and the wool is drying faster than i thought it would. Hopefully the Merino will be dry by bed time today.
The towels hanging over the laundry sorter are the towels I use to press out as much water as i can before laying the wool out to dry. There are at least ten towels hanging all over the place drying out for the next batch. I just put the wool in the towel and stand on it.
As you can see, there is no spinning out of the wool in the washer and no machines involved. It’s all me.
This is the other drying area. Lincoln in the back and Romney in the front. There were towels under the wool when I first laid it out but then the towels were soaking wet and so I removed them. More racks might be a good idea!
So, that’s what I’m doing right now. Get ready people on Vashon Island! I’m coming…first I’m gonna take this weaving class.
Some of this wool is also for the DFW Fiber Fest in April too. There are still spots in some of my classes if you are interested!