So I broke down and opened up the package of cotton bolls tonight. I was supposed to defer this to the weekend but the thrill of working with new fiber got the better of me. I am using my lightest weight drop spindle and teased fiber from one of the bolls (removed the seeds). So far so good, it is spinning up pretty easily for me and I am adding lots of twist to the fiber before winding it onto the spindle. I relaxed a bit of the yarn to allow it to fold back on itself and it stayed strong along with looking like a decent 2 ply yarn. Not sure if I will ply it with the white wool roving, white huacaya fleece or white suri locks as of yet. Still have 9 1/2 bolls of cotton to spin so that decision is on the distant horizon.
Fleece market day was a lot of fun and yes I kept my purchases within reason. I bought some mohair (goat) fiber that is naturally black and white. The fiber is clean but the ladies from Sister Sheep had washing instructions for future mohair purchases. Also purchased a very small amount of their CVM wool fiber which so reminds me of my very first fleece purchase. This fiber is in the raw stage so it will need to be scoured prior to spinning. There was a very cute lamb by the name of Jane who escaped from its keepers and ran across the street to the other shopping center. I was frozen with horror when she ran across the street and we were very fortunate that cars in both directions had stopped. Jane stayed with us for a few more hours and then went back home to her ranch. The angora rabbit was beautiful and I got some good advice on spinning up angora for the future. The owner of the rabbit also has alpacas and we met up again on Sunday for Shearing. Of course we had 2 alpacas at the shop both boys who were quite well behaved. Black Romeo had a thing for sniffing my spinning wheel and me when I wasn’t paying him any attention. Overall it was a great fiber sales day for all and an educational day all the way around.
Sunday was shearing day and 65 animals were shorn including several Llamas. I aided in skirting a lot of fleeces that day. Mr. Midnight is a rescued llama that hadn’t been shorn in a very long time. He got trimmed on Sunday and the joke was that I wanted his fleece – not! Although he has beautiful coloring his fleece was a felted/matted mess and I am sure he is feeling so much better to get that coat of off him. We had quite a few volunteers including my son and lots of camaraderie that day which is what makes shearing day so much fun. There were actually a few ladies that volunteered throughout the day to assist with skirting even if it was just passing fiber to them for the trash. Good learning experience and most importantly I did not add to my growing fleece pile!
This month I am exploring markets for the fiber/yarn products and looking into broadening my marketing campaigns on the web. Have to remember that I haven’t been in business for a year and that things will fall into place when the time is right. I work my business everyday in some manner and that is the important thing. I have the llama/silk roving on the wheel; an Estonian lace scarf on one set of needles; a cotton cowl/hood on another set of needles and of course now the cotton on a drop spindle. I LOVE FIBER!!!!