Saturday, July 12, 2014

Maisie Goes To The Wool Mill

Here she goes!


The washed wool gets dumped into the back hopper, gets picked up and picked out by the swinging arm thingy, then over the top...


...and falls out of this smaller hopper...


...where it's picked/fluffed some more and then onto the drums.  I think I counted 20 or 24 rollers, but now can't remember.


And then, after it's brushed and brushed and brushed through all the rollers, it gets pulled off the final drum into ready to spin roving.

Here's where it gets a little dicey on who this is.  It appears to be Maisie according to my camera files, but looks too clean to be Maisie.  My tongue in cheek post about her fleece being white as snow came back to haunt me.  I hope the shotgun shells don't jam up their machines!  Maisie, Maisie, Maisie...


This I know is Blossom.  Remember the huge fleece from the festival?  Yep, still huge.


Beth sets it all in neatly and then (over and over) pushes it down into the bag in the box...


...where it springs back out, ready to have more added to it!


This is Hershey's lamb fleece, flying free around the drums.  That'd be Hershey for sure!  Luckily most of it drifts back onto the drums, but some has to be swept up off the floor and tossed back in.  Yep, classic Hershey ;-).




B. Willard.  I thought this would be an interesting shot with the contrast between the stationary curls and the whirling drum getting ready to pick them up.  However, when I look at it now, it kind of makes me feel like someone getting ready to jump off the high dive for the first time. 


Ideally I'd hoped to show the gradients from dark gray to white, but the lighting was tough and I didn't have my "big girl" camera.  (Left to right) Hershey, Boudreaux, B. Willard, Henrietta, Ford, Allie, Maisie and Blossom. 

It's sure hard to beat a car full of fresh roving!

Ohio Valley Natural Fibers

17 comments:

Andee said...

I love seeing it being processed! I wish I could take a ferry ride to our processors!

Tyche's Minder said...

Super cool post. Did they do all of that while you waited???? Surely not.

It makes my hand washing, handpicking, hand combing, hand hand hand hand everything attempts seem a bit silly. :) I really need to scale up. :) Good thing I like fiber.

Wol 'n Draad said...

Wow! This is amazing!! What lovely roving to get from your own sheep! Love seeing the whole proces and what wonderful looking machines. Pretty hefty! :-)) Thankyou so much for showing us!
Love, Ineke

Tombstone Livestock said...

Wow, wish I had you energy.

Terry said...

Wow! This is just fascinating to me! I'm forwarding this on to all my spinning and weaving friends.

www.bergamascosbabydollbrigade.com said...

Wish I would have known you were going up, I'm headed up Monday to fill my car with 42 bags of roving...yummy!

MarmePurl said...

I remember you showing us this process with Mama's wool. Still just as fascinating.

Maureen said...

So cool to see... wow, it sure makes me appreciate wool so much more when I see how involved the processing is. Beautiful results!!!

Keechy said...

Oooh yummy, love the creamy light rovings but Hershey's is just to die for! I htink my nect roivng purchase will be some nice brown natural wook like that. Not sure if it can be from you, though. Not sure about if it's ok bringing it into Oz.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What beautiful bags..I think I liked the B. Willard batch! It was interesting to see:)

Lisa W said...

Excellent story - I've never been to a mill and this is really interesting. Love that they did it all 'while you wait'. It's like a drive-thru, but you get the special ferry ride, too! Ah, Kentucky!

karen said...

I bet you that this process never gets old for you. To see sheep to shear to process to fiber is a wonderful event :)

Dona said...

I loved this blog. The fleeces are beautiful. I have a question, when they process B. Willard's varigated light and dark fleece, do you lose the color variation? I pulled & kept a fleece recently that was going to our local mill because a friend said I would lose all the tones of grays. They would blend into one color. So, I am hand processing it separating the colors and then spinning them back together individually. Dona

thecrazysheeplady said...

OVNF is great. They let me make an appointment and run as much as they can while I wait. They do that I think because they know the fleeces will be washed enough and in decent order. I've been using them for over 10 years now.

Willard and all the two color Jacob fleeces become a solid tweedy blend of one color. That's why I especially want the mill to run them. The multi-color yarns that many people embrace make me a bit weak ;-). If you are wanting to keep colors separated, you'll have to do by hand, which is its own sort of neat fun too!

CJ STITCHING AND BLOOMS said...

What fantastic bags of fleece in wonderful array of colors. I have never seen this process done before. Thanks for sharing. Hugs Judy

LannieK said...

How cool! Amazing to see - and such beautiful roving!! Thanks for sharing :-)

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

Sigh........

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