Yes, I've enjoyed washing the fleece sooooo much that I've done it again. This time with about a million cups of Dawn (no hyperbole, nor exaggeration) and I think it's completely de-greased. Sad, really, because when I did that test spin the other day, not only did it render my hands very soft, but it did something magical to my fingernails and somehow repaired a small split ... until my nails dried out again.
Anyway, one seriously hot, soapy soak, one clear-water rinsing soak and then another and it was all said and done. Much faster than the previous pick-and-wash adventure.
And the reason for this third washing? The commercial carding business requires a greaseless fleece. So I hope it's really, really greaseless now.
I've done some reading and this Suffolk fleece, while scratchy once spun (lovely to spin, but holding the yarn against my neck makes me think it's an outerwear yarn), is lauded as yarn for socks as it is downy. Downy equals warm. Warm equals awesome. Therefore, this roving, once it exists as roving, will be taken to the massive all-day dyeing event in July and dyed all sorts of colours. Then I aim to bring it all home and spin it up into about a worsted weight (who am I kidding? it'll be whatever weight it comes out as) to make really warm, really quick socks. I'll do all the spinning and hopefully give everyone who participated in the dyeing adventure enough to make themselves or their loved ones a pair or two.
A great thing about this Suffolk is that it is hard to felt, or so I've read. I tend to believe it because with three washings, I had plenty of opportunity to screw up my fleece. I was thinking about making a felted soap, but I don't know if I'll be able to. I'm going to see exactly what it takes to felt it, and then I'll know if I should save some roving for needle-felting. We shall see!
And perhaps the next time I buy a fleece, I'll google the breed before committing. It would be nice to get a fleece, wash it, card it, dye it, spin it and then knit it into a garment like a sweater.
(sorry for the lack of photos in this post - don't get too used to photos because while they're plentiful now, they won't always be so)