A couple of weekends ago, I ransacked my garage for the lamb fleece. I found it. It’s a California Red lamb fleece. While it’s beautiful, it’s also not for next to skin wear that I would want for the scarf project.
A quick call to Kathleen convinced me that there was no hope for it. I needed to buy another fleece. The problem? It’s too early in the season for 2009 fleeces. Most small producers are sold out of 2008 fleeces. Those that still have inventory are likely to have the dregs. What to do?
Janet Heppler of Nebo-Rock Textiles (no website) to the rescue. I have purchased several fleeces from Janet in the past. Her fleeces are absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen a bad fleece from her. And she has a barn full of them.Â There are very few people that I would buy fleeces from, sight unseen. Janet is one of them. I tell her exactly what I’m looking for; she’ll find something that absolutely meets my needs.
I had to sit on my hands for a few days because she was out of town — I assume for ASCH. When we finally talked, I asked for a smallish colored fleece.Â She provides.
Here’s Jill.Â A light moorit fleece. All 6 gorgeous pounds of her.
Her staple length comes in just a hair over 3″.Â Above the ruler is a lock as it came off the fleece.Â The bottom is a lock that I did a quick kitchen-sink-swish ™ with hot tap water and some dish soap.Â She’s a beautiful taupe color and wonderfully soft.Â I can’t wait to play with her.
2 weeks of the contest have come and gone and I’ve only just received the raw fleece. I’ve been day dreaming about the scarf pattern. I think I have a small glimmer of an idea. More paper, pen, and swatching required.
What about the California Red lamb fleece? I’ve got half of it washed. I flick carded some of it using the tap and brush method.Â The tap opened up the locks, and the brush separated the guard hair from the fleece.Â If I had only tapped, I would have been left with the scratchy guard hair in the final yarn.
The downside? The guard hair is where the red in the California Red are located. I’m now left with a cream colored fiber instead of rosy tinged fiber.Â One or the other. You have to choose.Â I chose no-itchiness over color.
- Unwashed lock
- Washed lock
- Drecks from the flick carder; mostly guard hair and some second cuts
- Beautiful creamy fiber after flick carding
- (center) a sample spun on my little Golding spindle
I think this will be perfect for a small woven lap blanket.
Not all of the 2 weeks was wasted. I’ve found that washing the fleece by locks and flick carding wasn’t so onerous after all.Â And with the lock structure intact, I can spin from the lock for a true worsted yarn. That is, if I can prevent laziness and impatience from over taking me and go back to my semi-long draw.