Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yarn Along - Meanwhile, Back At The Wool Mill

Somewhere between shearing and skirting (months ago) and heading to the mill came washing and deciding if snipping the sunbleached tips off Baaxter's lamb fleece was going to make enough difference to justify the effort.  Miss B and I pulled out two samples (also months ago :-o), snipped the tips off one and not the other and then combed and carded each and...


...yes, there was a significant difference.  Baaxter Black should be as black as possible so I snipped as many sunbleached tips as I could stand.  If I ever have another black lamb, I'm going to do that while the fleece is still on the sheep.  It was a Job.


So here's Baby B. all washed, snipped and ready to go to Ohio Valley (at least a month ago - what is going on around here?!?).


I'm sure I am speaking for everyone in saying how comforting it is to see Beth and Darlene still running these wonderful old machines.


The wool is dumped into the back of the machine, comes up over the top...


...down into the beginning of the rollers...


...and out as beautiful ready to spin (if you can just find the time!) roving.

Here's a short video:




We took up seven fleeces that day - Billy Belly, Allie, Henri, Ford, Baaxter, Woody and one for Miss B from shearing at Kathy's (also months ago and still not on the blog even though there are some great pictures to share...I think...if I remember back that far.)  Am I ever going to get caught up???

Maisie's headed to the mill tomorrow along with Auntie Lila, Daniel's stunning first shear from last year that I finally talked myself into washing and processing and the dark green Renny.  I'm excited!

*       *       *       *       *

I listened to A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow (first in a series based in Alaska) this past week in hopes it would remind me of cooler/cold weather...but it didn't.  It's just plain hot.  To make matters worse, I somehow (and this is actually a pretty funny story, so don't let me forget to share it) ended up jumping into several really miserable (because of the heat) projects outside...in the midday sun...when I could have been inside spinning or knitting!

Joining in with Ginny...


21 comments:

Rednesty said...

How exciting to see your sheep's fleeces on their journey to being yarn! Love that mill! Hope you share your makes too! (www.hedgerowharvest.com/blog)

Alice said...

Happy to see that you were able to snip the tips! Everyone's hair needs a little trim sometimes! The snipping won't remove the character of the wool nor the sheep it came from!!! Yeaaaaa!

Michelle said...

My answers, numbered.
1) Sheep suits. No sun bleaching; more than worth their cost for the time you save.
2) No, you will never get caught up. People like us go to their graves with list in hand. ;-)

DianeOart said...

It is so nice to see Baaxter Black's wool, I have followed his rescue with Nisrock all along to his journey to you and now seeing how his wool is processed it's pure joy.

thecrazysheeplady said...

You are thinking of Burrnie the 'much needed to be rescued by Nistocks' sheep. The rest of us need to be rescued FROM Baaxter the BRAT ;-). Too many Bs around here!

Tyche's Minder said...

I'm trying to work up my courage to take some fleeces to OVNF. It helps to see all your successes. And I'm with Michelle -- covers are the answer to sunbleached tips on black sheep. Working up my courage to buy some of those too....cause, well, I got a lotta black sheep. :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

As long as your fleeces are sound and washed well, you will be thrilled with the roving you get back, I promise :-).

Tombstone Livestock said...

I am sure glad my mill washes the fleeces, matter of fact, if you wash them yourself she will rewash them, I would love sheep coats but just can't imagine them in 100+ temps. My biggest problem is vm, so want to build some plywood feeders like the two I left behind when I moved,

nocton4 said...

Great photos, loved seeing them x

jo(e) said...

Thanks for the great photos -- it's fascinating to see the whole process.

Sheepmom said...

What fun to see that great old machinery still working on a daily basis. A testament to the long-gone people who designed it and the current folks who maintain it. What fun to see one's own fleeces rolling off the drum! Can't wait to see the next batch.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Fun video. There are many shade of black. I cannot quite see Baxte B in a Coat in the summer. Poor boy would be so hot...black absorbs the heat so much. Looks like you have work stacked up now. One day at a time:)

Cheryl West said...

Thank you for all the things we learn about sheep, fleeces to yarn. I look forward to your knitting projects. It will eventually be cool enough to wear them. ( I hope).

Michelle said...

Actually, I think a black sheep in a light-colored coat is cooler than a naked black sheep. At least that's what I've experienced with Shetlands.

Mary Ann said...

That was an absolutely fascinating video!

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

SARA, only Mad dogs and Englishmen are out in the noon day sun :) I was surprised at the difference cutting the tips off made.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fvNZHV2UDc This is a video of 'my' fiber mill in action. The equipment is also from the late 1800's to 1920 if I remember correctly. Michelle, IF we live to be 150 years old maybe we can cut that list down :)

sophy0075 said...

Baaxter certainly gets around! Show him that video, and he will be insufferably pleased with himself.

BTW, how is Burrnie? I'm so glad you and Nistock rescued him.

As for doing stuff outdoors, if I can't get it done from dawn to 9am or from sunset to dark, it will simply have to wait until the end of September. I feel sorry for the sheep in their heavy wool jumpers.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

Thank you for showing us the inside workings of OVNF. I've been very happy with the angora blends I've received back from them and it is a treat to see the machinery in action. Like you, I am pleased that those machines are still in business!

I don't think there is such a thing as "caught up". Can you imagine NOT being inspired by a new idea or creating something with your hands?!!? Neither can I!
kim

karen said...

how exciting to watch the entire process from sheep to wool :)

Lucy Bowen said...

Another lovely post, and so interesting - thank you.

Jen said...

Love the post and pictures...can not wait to see what the other batch looks like especially Renny's that you dyed green.

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