Monterey Wool Auction

kid mohair locks  silver wool and sample skein

Here are a couple of lovelies that I bought at the Monterey Wool Auction a few weeks back. On the left is a kid mohair, and on the right is a 3/4 blood fleece from Janet Heppler.

Both washed out to a silvery taupe color. Both absolutely beautiful. We were driving down the road today, and we saw a Jag in what the marketing folks would call “champagne” and I realized that’s exactly the color of my mohair. Absolutely sumptuous. The wool is a bit more grey than taupe.

Sorry, there are no before pictures of the mohair, but the difference is very dramatic. I had not realized this before, but goats are filthy animals. And just try and imagine being a a little car, on a 90 degree day, with raw goat (and sheep) wool in the back. We have a little hatch back, and there was no where to hide from the stench. As soon as we got home, I pulled the buckets out. It took 5 baths in hot soapy water before I deemed it clean enough for rinsing. Yuck. But it sure turned out pretty though. The locks are baby hair soft.

Just for comparison sake, the wool only had one hot soap bath and came clean. I carded the batt for the sample skein on my drum carder. Unfortunately, I mangled it badly and it had lots of neps. Although the spun yarn didn’t show the neps too much. I’ll see what the knitted fabric looks like. I’m pretty sure that it will hide a lot of sins. Kathy gave me some suggestions on carding the next batch, before I resort to combing all 5+ pounds of it. I’ll give it a try with the remainder of the sample. Stay tuned.

If you’ve never been to the Monterey Wool Auction, it’s a must go event. What a blast! It’s always on the last day of the Monterey County Fair. As I looked around the bidding area, I recognized quite a few people from the local spinning and weaving guilds, or just “around” — as in at our various local fiber dealers. The action is fast and fun. I have to admit that the mohair was a desperate buy. It was way above what I really wanted to pay per pound, but it was the last of the kid mohair, and I really, really, did I say really? really wanted to go home with some mohair. I was outbid on all the earlier ones. With Martin egging me on from the left, and the woman I just met at the fair on the right, I ended up waving my card at a price point that made me gasp. The reasoning from the lady on my right? Well, it’s only 2 pounds. So, you really aren’t spending that much money. If I recall, she ended up paying more than my $/lb on another kid mohair.

Advice that was given to me, that I did not take to heart as much as I should, was, get there early to look through all the fleeces and decide ahead of time how much you are willing to pay for each fleece and how much you are willing to spend in total. It’s too easy to get carried away.

Boy! And how!