These sights have been tucked into every corner of my home and our days of late. fleece skirting out there, a fleece drying over here, a pile of rolags next to the chair, a pile of rolags on the shelf, drying skeins on the line, the spinning wheel here, there and everywhere (new favorite spinning spot - outside under the apple tree, goodness me, it's bliss), and where did those carders go again?
Partly, it's such a focus right now because I've got a mind to get some parts of this process done before the next two fleeces come inside (just as soon as that shearing stand arrives - today? tomorrow?). Partly, I'm rushing about to get a few finished skeins to join me at Squam this week for all the dock/fireside knitting I hope to do. But mostly, it's because it is here now, because I love it so, and we're all just a little excited to make yarn from our beloved girls.
After the third or fourth night of begging Steve to stay up late watching another long three hour movie on the laptop with me (Les Mis again?) so that I could continue carding, he became suspicious. Looking at the pile of rolags next to me in a basket that I had been working on for a few days, he then glanced over at what remained of the fleece I had pulled it all from. I saw, in that moment, through his eyes, that it appeared as though nothing had yet been removed from that giant fleece since he took it off the sheep. How long will it take to card just one fleece? he cautiously asked. Well....I hadn't really done that math. Um, a very long time. And then when one thinks about there being three more fleeces to go....and perhaps another four in the fall (the jury is out for us on whether or not we'll shear our shetlands once or twice a year - people do it both ways, we hear)...and weren't we talking about getting a ram? And doesn't four ewes + one ram = somewhere between nine and thirteen sheep (ie. fleeces) next year? Oh my. It is time, I dare say for me to bring in a drum carder. (A fancy kitty maybe?).
I mentioned the plan to Adelaide the next day, who informed me that it was fine for me to do it that way, but that she was going to keep on hand carding, thank you very much. Next to the sheep themselves, it is her very favorite part of it all. And her love of it, well, it's catchy. Looks like I might just have exactly what I need right here at home...