To avoid guilt.

Each year around this time I start thinking of all the luscious fleeces that are about to be shorn. Shiny fleeces, Alpaca, Llama, Cormo, Black Merino, one of the Leicesters. I dream of the browns, and the whites, and the blacks, and greys. I think of the Shetland I got one year that was almost burgundy. I dream of all the things I can do with these fleeces. I dream of multicolors and depth of colors. All the richnes. Which fleece do I want? How many do I want? Do I want all of them? One fleece per festival? Many per festival?  I can hear husbeast groaning under all the weight of the fleece he’s carrying.

Inevitably the thought lingers on what fleeces do I already have sitting in the basement needing some love….

Oh, hmm, yeah. There’s um, well, theres a couple.

To avoid the guilty feelings of all the lingering fleeces, I need to process one before I buy new. Now you know once I get to the fiber festivals and see the fleeces, all the guilty feelings have run away and hid. Because if guilty didn’t run away and hide, greed exuberance would beat it to a pulp.  So guilty feels free to hang around for now. Come NH (the first of my season of shows to visit)  guilty will be no where to be seen until after the show sometime.

Last year the one I processed, I never did anything with it. I don’t like it. There is too much hay in it. I bought it 3 Fiber Frolics ago and thought I could deal with the hay. I lovingly picked through and seperated out major colors in my 11 pound fleece and scoured half of it but didn’t want to deal with the hay last year. I don’t want to deal with the hay this year either.
At least this year I got up the gumption and I put a few ounces through the carder (that blurry tan in the lower right hand corner – you know all these photos can be enlarged right?). Most of the hay fell out in the carding process. Now I have to clean the carder really well. With all the work I’ll have to put in it, I don’t think I’ll have the energy to spin it. I might send it out to be processed. hmmm. that’s not a bad idea.

I boxed up Corrie again and turned to the Llama I got at MDSW 2005. The llama folks had a gorgeous sample done where they didn’t card the fleece of a multi colored llama. They spun it from the lock and I  loved it.

I started on the yarn, then I stepped backand took a good look at it. Look at all the fly aways. I stopped, I plied and now I have this:

I’m going to knit that up before I decide what I’m going to do. I may just card the whole fleece. I know I’ll lose the color blocks unless I seperate and card each color by itself, which isn’t going to happen.

With all that, I started washing Cosmo:
Cosmo is a cutie pie of a fleece. No hay, no dung tags just a bit of greese. I’m in love with Cosmo. I got him from a little farm we visited on our fiber tour. Anj do you remember that place? They had a gorgeous open layout house and all the fleeces were in the loft. I think I need to visit them again. If I get Cosmo’s fleece from this year, maybe I’ll ply the 2 together and then I’ll have a good amount for a sweater.

See, always thinking ahead to the next fleece.

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14 Responses to To avoid guilt.

  1. Susan says:

    I have a question for you about NH Sheep & Wool. Do you think it’s fun for kids? I can’t go Sunday because it’s Mother’s Day and my mother wouldn’t enjoy it. I can go on Saturday, but DH is working so I’d have to bring the kids. My two are just between your two, age wise, and I know you’ll have a realistic perspective, so I’d love to hear your opinion.

  2. Monika says:

    Most of the spinning terms are a foreign language to me. But, I’d like to at least give spinning a try. Do you have a suggestion what a total newbie to spinning should do, if there’s no one around to teach? What books, what tools what fiber??? You seen to be so knowledgeable, please help! ;o)

  3. anj says:

    That is a good idea. I’ll get you the name of the place. It was up the road from the cashmere farm. I have 2 bags with her farm’s name on it in my stash (I bought “pearl” and “borris”) so I’ll give you a call.

  4. carrie says:

    Wow! So far I’ve just spun up fleece that others have processed (roving), so this is very informative. Cosmo has a beautiful color!

  5. Chante says:

    (long time lurker here)

    Your fleece is making me drool. I’m reeeeaaaally trying to show some restraint and wait for the fall to buy all my fleeces (think rhinebeck) but your pictures are making it so hard. The Cosmo fleece looks like it’ll be a dream to spin. Thanks for the fiber friday eye candy!

    BTW, what type of drum carder to you have?

  6. Jennifer says:

    Nice fleeces! I wouldn’t know what to do with a fleece. Probably just stare at it.

  7. Beth says:

    I might be in love with Cosmo too – he’s easy on the eyes.

  8. Amy says:

    Cosmo is beautiful! I love looking at all the raw fiber, but I don’t have even a small twinkling of an urge to process it by myself. You are braver than I am.

  9. Dianna says:

    So I am not the only one with fleeces in various stages of being processed at home? I am thinking my screen room will be a good drying station….

    I have one that was two year’s worth of fleece on a sheep that weighs over 30 lbs skirted! That one should be good for combing and using a diz….

  10. You and me both. I just did a round up of all the fleeces I have in the house and took them to storage in prep for my move in a couple of months. There were something like 20+ boxes and a dozen pillowcases with washed fleece! *blushes* That’s not including the roving I have still in the house, and hopefully I will have time to spin this weekend. For the first time in months!

  11. Gina House says:

    Oh, the fleece….I had no idea how much work it is. You can appreciate it more when other people wash, card and prepare fleeces. And more than 1 pound is amazing to me.

    You’ve done such a great job on the yarn and the Cosmo looks super. Can’t wait too see it spun up! Good luck!

  12. Lynn says:

    THis post makes me feel better. There are four – only four! – fleeces tucked away in a corner of my bedroom, waiting to be dealt with. I’ve washed two of them, but I have no carder, so it’s off to the mills with them. I’m a little scared of sending them, though, since I’m new at all this and don’t exactly know what to tell the mills (Dear Mill: Please make this all nice and spinnable).

    In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit all four fleeces are from just last year – my first year as a spinner. Eho knows what will happen this year….

  13. Heather says:

    I am dying to get my hands on fleece, too! I have 4lbs of Cottswold Lamb in my shed, begging to be processed. (it is the same Cottswold that Gina showed on her blog recently). I’ve been waiting for warmer weather so I could wash it outside, but with the way things are going around here, I’m going to have to do it inside and soon! BTW,, the Big Ball sweater is done — pics on the blog.

  14. kate says:

    Cosmo is gorgeous. Reminds me of my big fat fluffy balck cate named cosmo. I named him for some Chocolate Cosmo I’d just put in my garden when we got him (it’s supposedly perennial, but apparently not in my yard!)because he has an undertone of rich chocolate brwn in his fur.
    Anyway, I’m with you on the fleece issue. I bought one from this fall and have slowly been processing it. It’s white Romney and very nice when clean. I never knew it would be so labor intensive. I just bought one from Rising Moon farm and am having it processed by Wooly Knob. And then there is MDsW coming in a few weeks. Hmmm…could be trouble. So, will you be coming down to MDSW this year?

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