The wool finally got back from the mill the other day. Here are a couple of pictures:
I'm actually kind of disappointed with how the roving turned out. I didn't have it processed as much as it really needed to be for the amount of vegetable matter it had in it. I thought the charge was going to be around $6.60 per pound for processing, but we received a preliminary bill before they started on it that said to wash it twice (because it's a greasy-type wool) and run it through an extra step to remove more vegetable matter, the price would be over $14.60 per pound. That would have made the total bill over $500!!! Needless to say, that was more than twice as much as I had anticipated, so I had them forego the extra carding on all of it and do a "wash only" on another batch of it. The resulting roving is really nice and soft, but there's still quite a bit of debris in it--more than what I like to pick out when I'm spinning. I tried combing some of the roving, and that helps quite a bit, but it takes a huge amount of time to get any large quantity done. I'll still probably at least try to comb enough to do a sweater from the yearling's first shearing, but who knows how long it will take to comb and spin that amount. Anyway, I thought I might try needle felting some of it, because the "core" in needle felting doesn't have to be as nice as the outside. I can hand card some to be used on the outside layers. I guess it can be chalked up as a "learning experience."
Anyway, I have a skein of worsted weight yarn in the dyepot as we speak, hopefully ready to go in the shop later in the week.