Saturday, April 24, 2010

In which the Rabbit ponders her ambivalence about processing fleece

The Rabbit is amassing something of a history with fleece. Raw fleece, right (more or less) off the sheep, skirted—that is, with all the really filthy bits removed—but still all greasy and smelly and delightfully sheepy.

I love raw fleece. But here's what's a little weird: once I've washed it, I kind of lose interest. Because once it's washed, it—and I—enter a space not unlike the waiting place in Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go. The Carding Place. Or, in some cases, the Combing Place. In either case, a place one has to be for a very long time. And the fact is, I don't care much for these places.

My drumcarder has helped. It's a Strauch Petite, and it makes big, lovely batts. But not everything is suitable for drumcarding.


This big, beautiful Cormo fleece (above) that I bought in the fall from Sue Reuser is too fine for the drumcarder; it needs to be combed by hand. Somehow, I find the prospect of combing a five-pound fleece kinda daunting. And I haven't even started it. Even though the fleece is to die for.

On the other hand, the drumcarder is perfect for this little beauty:


This is a two-pound (manageably sized!) fleece from a California Red lamb. It's from Elizabeth and Leonard Ferraro at Apple Rose Farm, and I think I got it within a week or two of shearing. Because it's a lamb's fleece, it's soft, and the color variation in the lock makes a lovely, tweedy, oatmeal-colored yarn.

The plan was that the California Red fleece was going to be a sweater for Mr. Rabbit. But I'm not sure that I have enough of it. So I've arranged to buy a big Corriedale fleece (seven pounds) from Windborne Farm that will become Mr. Rabbit's sweater. But I'm getting smarter in my old age. I'm going to pick up the fleece next week at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and then I'm going to trundle it right over to Zeilinger's Wool Co. and give it to them for washing and processing into roving.

Thus completely avoiding The Carding Place.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you found the Lesser Known Skeins my group on Ravelry.
    It's a great group of fiber artists and you will enjoy reading and commenting on their blog.
    We also have a web site you should check out.
    Learning to spin is on my bucket list.