Friday Finishes ..One Week … One Fleece

I’ve set up a challenge for myself – one fleece from raw to roving or batts in one week. One every week until finished. I sent out quite abit of fiber to be commercially processed last year. What a time saver! And I had plenty to sell at SAFF (and most did sell). After paying the mill and shipping, I actually made less money than the year before when my sales were much less. I figure I’m making about $2/hour processing my own fleeces compared to sending them out.  But, it’s MY $2 hour and I’d rather make $2 than spend $6. As Dave likes to say, it’s not how much money you make – it’s how much money you keep.

Willa’s fleece, ready to be washed. Willa is a lilac and her deep color retention was a lovely surprise


In the laundry tub and heading to the washing machine


uuwww! Dirty!!! Don’t tell Dave I wash fleeces in our family washer 🙂


Dorothy watches the entire procedure. She loves to roll in raw fleeces and is not pleased!


I card for two hours in the morning from 7 to 9 on Monday through Thursday. Those are the days Dave works and is not here to see that I roll my carder out into the kitchen and  stack fleeces (clean ones) on the kitchen table (don’t tell!) My favorite fiber tool is my wireless headphone setup which allows me to watch (and hear) a movie over the noise of my drum carder.

If I were organized this week, I would have pictures of my freshly carded fleece. Started on Monday by washing fleeces from Willa and Holly and finished carding Holly’s on Thursday.  Holly is a yearling and this is her hoggett fleece. It is soft and long… and tippy….not unbalanced or inebriated, however


See the tips? How they look like they are stuck together? Well, they are. This is not unusual on a lamb fleece, especially the longer, silkier ones. Blindly (or even with eyes wide open – a good practice when using a picker) running a fleece like this through the picker often breaks off the tips, leaving short broken pieces that become noils (short pieces) in the finished batt, turning a soft and silky fleece into a novelty batt. Not what I have in mind for this fleece. I flicked each lock before feeding it into the carder. I’m down to $1/hour on this fleece.  It’s worth it.  I’ve spun four ounces so far. Spinning Holly’s fleece is my reward for working hard – it’s that much of a pleasure.

Next week…Belvedere goes to the carder.


About patchworkfibers

Registered Jacob Sheep
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2 Responses to Friday Finishes ..One Week … One Fleece

  1. I am currently working on Symphony’s fleece and I know that if I had sent it off, her beautiful (tippy) fleece would have been ruined. I am impressed with your 1 fleece a week goal. Mine is turning into 1 fleece a month 😉 Holly’s fleece is really pretty!

  2. Interesting way to think about it – “how much money you keep”. I hate that we don’t get to pay ourselves a fair wage. Sigh. We do what we love though, so I guess there’s something to be said for that.

    Holly’s fleece looks just lovely. I’m glad you clued me into flicking those baby fleeces. They ARE worth the extra time.

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