Monday, April 10, 2006

In Theory: The Formula

Okay, okay, okay. I've had The Fleece bagged up in my room for a while, to allow the sheep's ass smell to clear and for me to get my head working right. Here are a few things I've learned in the meantime:

-Lanolin comes from wool grease, but wool grease is not technically lanolin yet.
-Denatured alcohol can aid in removing grease, but too much will ass-rape your wool.
-Denatured alcohol is crazy flammable. CRAZY flammable.
-Flicking is good at pretty much any time.
-Soaking things in cold water is a good way to get rid of some of the dirt and smell.
-Having a basket makes things easy and convenient. Making a basket is cheap and easy.
-YOUR MOM is cheap and easy! (sorry, roommates have been telling 'your mom' jokes all week. Seriously, nonstop.)
-When in doubt, flick.
-It's a good idea to have a flicker for raw wools, and another one for washed wools.
-No matter how simple it seems in theory, things are always harder in practice.
-Sometimes, you just end up with wax on the ends of your wool, and you have to accept that.
-If there's an exception to a rule, that exception is for Merino.

So, here's my basic formula for washing wool, in theory. I spent all night goofing off and making a basket out of that thick plastic cross-stitch stuff, so this theory is to be tested tomorrow.

- Sort raw wool into Locks and Crap. Throw away Crap. Flick locks.
- Put down first layer of mesh into basket.
- Arranged flicked locks onto layer of mesh in basket. Cover with another layer of mesh.
- Repeat above step as needed.
- Soak wool in cold water for a few hours. Replace water as needed. This will take all afternoon.
- Remove basket from water (handles are awesome). Let drain.
- Place layers of mesh on drying surface. Locks should be intact. Let dry.
- If desired, flick again. Get the tips especially.
- Fill up a large bowl in the sink with a mix of crazy-hot tap water and boiling water. Add dish soap and a little denatured alcohol. Roommate's whiskey is not a suitable alternative, regardless of any promises to "spin him a hat".
- Swish locks in soapy water lightly, then in rinse water. If waxy buildup on tips, hold lock in the hot water for a few minutes and hope really hard. You never know.
- Place locks on drying rack. Spin as desired.

So, tomorrow, while Sweetie is subjugated to dinner with Enthusiastically Christian Guy* and evades conversion, I will be testing my wool theory.

Me, I got nothing against christians, and I can understand in theory why they go out and tell folks why they believe what they do. It just ain't my cup of tea, and I avoid it when possible. Sweetie, however, loves a good religious discussion, and has way more patience than I do.

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