I took up knitting a few years ago, and that led to spinning on a spindle, which led to spinning on wheel. This in turn to led to working with raw fleece (thanks Shells!)
Last October I purchased a fleece off of Bea, a CVM Romeldale from Crosby Hill Farms. I had never purchased a fleece before, but I thought she looked pretty good:
Now my friend Kara (Shells mentioned above) is really into processing fleece (fleeces?). She really loves it, I’m not as enthusiastic. I was willing to process some of this fleece but not all 5.81 pounds.
Fortunately I knew about Dakota Fiber Mill up by Kindred, ND. I kept about a pound of the raw fleece to process myself and sent the rest up to Dakota Fiber Mill. Can’t recommend these folks enough. Was very pleased with what I got back from the mill:
This is almost 5 pounds of fiber waiting to be spun up.
Now for the stuff I held back. I enlisted Kara’s help and equipment. She had built this “cage” to hold the locks while they were soaking in the tub. Kept everything safe and in place:
You can see some of the dirt and grease floating away from the fleece, but Bea must have been a prissy sheep because after only a few soaks, the water was pretty clear.
Once Bea was washed and dried, I hand carded the locks and formed rolags. I thought I had a picture of the rolags, but really, once you’ve seen one rolag, you’ve pretty much seen them all.
To the spinning wheel!
I’m a novice spinner, still learning techniques, still learning about fiber and how it spins up. This hand carded CVM Romeldale was one of the first things I spun up on my Majacraft Rose, so it’s not the best looking yarn, but it’ll knit.
The CVM Romeldale is a very bouncy, squishy fiber. Even after spinning it holds it’s bounce as evidenced by the picture below:
Bea is on the left and Border Leicester is on the right. They were both wound up on the same niddy noddy. I also noticed that water seemed to bead off Bea, so I think this hand processed batch of Bea will turn into a hat and mittens and if there’s enough, socks.
As for the stuff from the mill, not sure what I’ll make from that.
So this is Bea. I have other small batches of fiber waiting to be processed and will post about my experience with them here, mainly to keep it all straight myself, cause if I don’t write this stuff down, I’m gonna forget it.