Monday, July 16, 2012
YAY, Another fleece carded
For those not familiar with the wool processing process, here is a quick overview. Sometimes I send my fleeces to be processed by a woolen mill, and I get the finished wool back as long "snakes" of roving, ready for the spinning wheel. But when I have small fleeces, the woolen mill can't process them, or when I'm poor, I opt not to pay the $8.00 or more per pound to have the work done for me. My personal favorite woolen mills are "Gurdy Run" outside of Harrisburg, PA, and McClellan's Frankenmuth Woolen Mill in Frankenmuth, MI. I really like the way each mill processed the wool, but the fleeces I'm working on are too small to send to them. But I digress. Here's the "by hand" process:
Then after the fleece is picked and looks like the fiber next to the carder, After picking out the small ends and pieces of hay and brambles by hand, I run it through the carder which will line up the fibers in a pretty straight line, open up the locks, and basically produce a "batt" which I then take off the carder drum and roll in a tube so that I can spin from it later. The carder also gets rid of a lot of barnyard matter like straw and grass that has gotten stuck in the fleece. The bag to the right is made up of batts from the fleece that I just finished.
Somehow I think I'm not going to get it all done prior to going back to school August 13th. I've been knitting too, but the biggest thing that has cut into my time working on the wool has been work. Still, I'm happy to have a job, and to have some time at work to knit. :) That's what getting the wool ready is really about, using it to knit beautiful things!