Fleece cleaning time

Picked up the mohair locks on Saturday and paid for the alpaca fleece to blend with it.  My fleece cleaning skills are not as strong as they used to be.  As alpaca doesn’t have lanolin one doesn’t need hot water to clean the fleece.  I mistakenly let the water get to hot and agitated a batch.  It is not a very pretty white felted mess – ugh!  My second batch was warm water which hasn’t felted but is not as white as I would like it.  I’m thinking of switching to cleaning the Shetland fleeces in order to get my cleaning temperature right.  Luckily I have a lot of mohair and can do an 80/20 blend of alpaca for the commissioned yarn.  Hoping to start blending the fibers with my new dog combs – need to research this technique more.  I don’t want to make them into rolags but more of a top fiber.  We shall see how it goes.

Alpaca Fleece
Mohair Fleece

The dog hair hat is progressing.  I discovered last week it was too short so have extended the length of the hat.  Found another pattern design for the bib edge of the hat which I will start on tonight too.  It is a very fluffy hat with the dog fibers puffing out to give it a furry look.  The buyer likes it very much and that is the important thing.

Gray Shetland
Black Shetland

My Shetland fleeces arrived and they are so beautiful.  Both came from sheep at Pinon Wood ranch in Southern Colorado.  As each weighs only around 2 lbs I am going to process them at home versus sending them to the mill.  I will reserve the mill for alpaca and wensleydale fleeces as they will be larger. 

On the sales front I sold a ruffle scarf to a buyer in Sao Paulo, Brazil this month.  It is always exciting to have international sales!  I also received positive feedback on the trio of blended roving that was purchased on EBay.  April sales all came from EBay my other venues have been non existent.  I am still making lots of yarn though and keeping busy.  I N-plied my alpaca/milk roving and it turned out rather well for my first venture using that technique.  Just spun up some dyed “virgin wool” roving that I purchased from Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins.  It spun up easily with a texture that reminded me of felting fiber but smoother.  The colors were purple and burnt yellow which blended well – it will be plied later this week.


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