Hello! Today I made the decision to be real extra and do a micro sheep to shawl competition, all on my own. Yes, that micro. I'm competing against the stay home orders, so who knows how long it will last! I pulled a romney lamb's fleece from my collection and started the process.
Fleece in hand, I had absolutely no idea where my garment bags are, and to be honest, I hated them anyway. Because I also hate Amazon and spending more money than I have to, I decided to make my own! I purchased "Utility Mesh" from Joann Fabrics as well as four zippers.
The fabric is 44" wide, so to do the least amount of sewing possible and have a good sized bag, I decided to cut the fabric into 14" X 44" wide panels.
Next, the zipper needed to be sewn in. There's lots of tutorials online for how to do zippers, and this is good practice, because it doesn't have to look good, it just has to be functional!
Once the zipper is sewn in, we need to seam the sides. Pro tip: Unzip your zipper half way before you start this step. It will be a lot easier to flip them right side out if the zipper is already open!
Now it's time to fill the bags and scour the fleece! I just so happened to grab a bag that wasn't skirted (shame on me, I usually skirt first thing, but apparently I got lazy with this one), it's currently pouring outside, so I skirted as I went. What's that mean? I sat on the floor, and with each handful of fiber that I grabbed out of the bag, I opened it up with my fingers and pulled out any vegetable matter, poop, urine stained portions, and second cuts aka "shorts".
These bags are the perfect size for me. I can two of them inside my big scouring pot, making sure not to stuff them, otherwise the fleece towards the center won't get clean. I do a cold rinse first, then into the scouring pot!
They will take up to a week to dry thoroughly, depending on if the weather cooperates or not, then I'll break out the drum carder and get to making batts! Majority of the drying is going to happen in these bags, hanging from the drying rack I usually use for yarn. There's a heater on them to speed things along, but scouring this fleece will happen in (what looks like) three batches. Which is fine, because while I'm carding and spinning, another batch can be drying, and on the cycle goes.
Stay tuned for carding! Or dyeing? I haven't decided yet!