This was a pretty crazy weekend. I took Shaft’s fleece to Fiber Fusion for sale, and we took a peek around. Compared to last year, Fiber Fusion had more vendors and appeared to be busier. A lot of the people appeared pretty interested in buying and there was a shift in vendor makeup towards vendors that supplied equipment and finished/processed goods rather than “raw” fiber.
Having said that, there was also a massive increase in people offering raw fleeces for sale. The increase was so great they set aside another building just for raw fleeces.
But then they didn’t really let anyone know how to get to it, or where it was, or how to submit a fleece for sale or judging (two separate desks). So I and a bunch of other people put our raw fleeces out excitedly and hoped for a sale, but nobody knew our beautiful fleeces were there, so almost nothing sold. The same fleeces I saw when I put mine out were still there at the end of the day on Sunday when I went to claim my unsold fleece. Alas. Here’s hoping they’ll get the hang of things next year, this is still a new festival and working all the kinks out takes time.
As for the rest of the fleece, we broke down and got a dehumidifier so air drying would not take days on end. It’s been quite effective and we are delighted with the results. We set up in the garage, it is easiest to dry fleece there.
The sheep hacked the barn and ran amok when I lay all the fall fleeces out to air dry in the barn after shearing day. So my project for the next few months is to shake all the hay out of the fleeces. It looks pretty bad, as these pictures suggest, but it’s not really. However, I’m not eager to do it again, so next year all the fleeces go straight into mesh bags on shearing day.
Fleeces waiting to be air dried.
Air drying. This is a drying rack meant for “herb”, but we find it works great for wool instead.
The VM situation looks terrible, but most of that stuff comes out quickly when the locks are totally dry rather than slightly damp.
This drying rack holds a full mesh bag of fleece, which is about 2 fleeces’ worth of wool.
Bucky’s fleece survived the onslaught and is drying on a metal rack that is good for individual fleeces, but not as awesome as the “herbal” drying rack.
It hangs from a rafter. Very easy to set up and take down, just a wonderful find.
One last look at Bucky’s fall clip. It is soft and looks pretty good. Should wash up nicely for sale.
As you can see, we’re finally starting to formalize our processing so I can develop a routine and just always be preparing wool for sale or home use. Also, I’m taking up knitting. It’s a great way to use up the bulky, lumpy yarn I am likely to produce with my current newbie level of wool combing experience.
The actual sheep are doing ok and already have plenty of wool grown in for the winter.