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Washing Yarn etc.   the spinning wheelFrances Green Hand Spinner

  Here are a few hints from things that I have learnt over the years, particularly at the beginning of my journey into creating my own yarn.

Be very cautious about washing your yarn once you have made it, because it is a very natural product it requires special treatment, raw fleece actually sheds dirt and grease if it is left a little while in plain water, this is why sheep always look so clean and white after rain. 

Washed carefully you will not be scouring the wool of its natural oils and its natural waterproof qualities. But it is always best to wash your wool in the hanks after it has been spun, particularly if you have 'spun in the grease'.

  Idrying yarn indoorsn fact be inclined to under wash wool very lightly rather than over wash it, you can always wash it again if it still looks dingy. Use good quality soap flakes (if you can get them!) or Non Bio liquid rather than strong detergent and don't leave the hanks to soak too long in the soapy water.

I personally recommend Tesco 'Silk & Delicates' Non Bio and  Tesco 'Pure' for delicate skin softener. which are easy to obtain.

(see below)

   Use only hand hot water or slightly less than this, if you wash wool in water that is very hot it will begin the felting process which is not usually what you want for knitting!

  When the wool is clean and debris free, rinse it well in lukewarm water by very gently swishing it about with your hand...

 Do this in two or three separate waters and it is okay to add a tiny bit of fabric conditioner to the last water if you like!

Under no circumstances should you ring out the hanks of wool... You may well ruin it if you do.

winding  winding2 Winding the yarn on a niddy-noddy ready for washing. 

Gently squeeze it with both hands, then lay it on an old towel and roll it up tight and squash it dry... Hopefully you will end up with a very wet towel and reasonably dry wool!To wash your handmade wool

To rinse wool withJake.

JakeThen either lay it out outside on a towel to dry if it is a nice day, or if it is not, hang it up in the house in a nice airy place with a bowl underneath it to catch the drips. You will find it will actually dry very quickly because of all the natural oils that are still in it, yarn treated like this almost casts off the water!

Treat it very gently and it will be beautiful! Remember this is a very natural product and needs your love and respect!

 

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