Dad and Mom toured one of our local fiber mills this week. We made a family pact that if our next shearing day rolled around and we still hadn’t finished with all the fleeces, we’d take them to the mill to be turned into roving. Since we’ve already scheduled our shearing day (May 15th), it was time for us to do a quick inventory of all the unspun fiber floating around. And despite our best efforts, more than a third of our fiber hadn’t gotten any farther in the process than “off the animal”.
The mill guy specializes in alpaca, and even this time of year (winter not being the best time to shave animals, it’s sort of off-season), there is 4-6 week turn around time. It’s much longer in the summer. He will wash, pick, and card our remaining fleeces, turning them to roving. Which basically means all we have to do is spin and knit (which are most definitely the fun parts). We’ll finish up the odd bits of fleece we have around; Mikayla’s is almost done.
At first I had trouble giving up control over every step in the process. But we’ve done so much of it by hand already, and it takes so long…well, it’s just impossible to do it all with each of us holding down full-time “real” jobs. Now I’m just grateful we have help. And I admit it, he flattered my spinner’s vanity when Mom showed him the handspun suri alpaca yarn I’d made from his roving (this is the mill where Archie’s fiber was processed). Obviously, he recognizes and respects a job well done :P.
Note: Autoposted! I’m at the closing for my house today!