Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It's more like 8 bags full. Besides the new arrivals each year, this is where your breeding decisions, feeding and supplement programs, and farm facilities all come together...on the fleece table. For the past three days, we have been washing and drying Flirtation and her son Gabriel's fleeces. It is a labor intensive process...First, you must skirt the fleece. This means laying the fleece out and picking out hay, dirt clops, guard hair, and any other yucky stuff that you see. Then the fleece gets washed 3 times in small batches in garment bags. Then the wet fleece is placed back on the skirting table to air dry. What you see here is Gabriel's fleece, washed and mostly dry.
Wednesday night the fleeces will get put through the picker...a medieval-looking torture device that rakes the fleece through 600 razor sharp spikes. This prepares it to be carded on an electric drum carder that we share with two other farms. You can also hand card the fleece at this point as well to prepare it for spinning.
Our plan is to create an Oedipus yarn (mom and son's fleeces mixed), and then solar dye it in our yet to be created solar dye boxes.