Monday, September 17, 2007

Off to the Mill

Last spring when we had our sheep sheared I talked about skirting the fleeces and getting them ready for processing. Here's a couple of pictures (reruns):

The mill said they wouldn't be ready for them until September. That seemed like a long time away then, but here it is September and time to send them in. Of course, I waited till the last minute to get the rest of them ready. But I finished the skirting and stuffed them into two big boxes. And I mean STUFFED. I think postage is cheaper if you use the smallest possible boxes. Even though these were pretty big, they were the smallest possible boxes. I told the lady at the post office I was hoping they wouldn't explode on the way to the mill. I think they'll be okay as long as the tape holds. There were five fleeces. All together there was about 35 pounds of wool. I read on a Rambouillet site that after washing, you should have about a 35% to 55% yield, so maybe we'll come up with around 15 pounds of roving. I think they told me it would take about five weeks to get them done. This is the first time we've sent off the wool from our Rambouillets, so I'm anxious to see what the roving will be like. Just from looking at the raw fleeces, it looks like it has a really tight crimp, and feels like it will be nice and soft. Just have to wait and see I guess.


Morrgan said...

I'd missed the previous post about skirting, but I found and read it. It's interesting to follow the whole process from beginning to end through the blog. :)

Bonny said...

This brings back a few memories - my uncle used to shear his sheep (he didn't have many - only about a dozen) and he wasn't nearly as good at it as you are - he had a tough time getting one big piece of fleece. My mom used to laugh about the sheep running around nekkid :)

Prairie Daisy Handspun said...

Actually, we're not good at it either. We hired a professional sheep shearer to do it this time. We have done it in the past, but it took hours and we didn't get it to come off in one piece either. The poor sheep looked kind of like we'd used a weed eater to do the job. So since we got the Rambouillets and wanted to try to use the wool, we decided it would be best to let someone do it who knew what they were doing. :)

Knitted Gems said...

Oh, I just love sheep's wool. It smells so wonderful.
Will you dye the wool once you get it back from the mill? And how long will the mill take to spin it? Goodness, I'm excited and it's not even my wool. [smile]

Prairie Daisy Handspun said...

Actually, the mill isn't going to spin it, they're just making it into roving. Then I'll probably dye it and spin it to put in the shop as handspun or maybe some just as dyed roving. I think they told me it would take about 5 weeks to get it back. I'm excited to see it, too! :)


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