Speaking of things piling up and pulling at my heart strings....in the corner of my studio a great big pile of fleece has been accumulating. Just two years worth of shearing, and just four sheep (until this fall). But still....the washing and carding of it all was a slow process, one that this newbie wasn't exactly performing well and definitely not at a pace in which I could spin it in a reasonable amount of time. Eventually, a few months a go, I cried uncle. I needed help! I needed someone to help me out with at least one step in the process. With every angle of it being so new to me - the shearing, washing, carding and spinning - there were just too many places at which things could go wrong. Having a few steps done 'right' by someone with experience would allow me to focus on learning one piece of the puzzle at a time. Spinning first. And so...late one night in my studio I boxed up those fleeces, and sent them on their way.
They spent a little bit of time with Nancy at NEWAIM Fiber Mill, a solar-powered mill on the coast of Maine, where her experienced hands did just the right thing. This week, they came back my way. Opening those big boxes was such a delight. Inside, were four clean and tidy, beautifully carded bags of roving - one for each of our first sheep, Emily, Cinnamon, Anne and Charlotte.
Aren't they gorgeous? Ah! I could just look at them all day, sinking my hands into them periodically as well. Love, love, love. But of course they aren't meant for staring at, they're meant for spinning. And I am quite excited to get started doing just that, with such well prepared roving. It's a whole lot of roving, but thankfully there's a whole long winter ahead and a wood stove calling my name. And at the end of it all....some knitting in my future. And maybe some dyeing too? Oh yes.
(Let us not talk about the reality of ten more fleeces coming my way in just a month or so, okay? I'm still riding the illusion that I can keep up with it all, even with a little bit of help. Do let me live that fantasy. Ahem.)