We get asked that question a lot!
We have bags of wool all over the shop. We have skirted, and washed many of the fleeces.
They have been piling up, waiting for further processing.
The mill has been one step forward, two steps back.. isn't that just how life is?
Well I am happy to report that we FINALLY picked, carded and made some roving tonight.
I was beginning to doubt that was ever going to happen! There are no manuals to read, workshops, or college courses to attend that walk you through the process.
Thankfully, Mike is mechanically inclined, but even with machining in his background, there is a definite learning curve when it comes to running wool processing equipment, especially when that equipment is from the early 1900's.
There is still some tweaking left to do but I feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
After the wool is washed/dried, we run it through the picker. The purpose of picking, is to open up the wool fiber, to prepare it for carding. As you can see, it is an oldie, but it still runs great.
The first time we ran wool through the picker, we were quite surprised at what a mess it made, blowing wool all over the place!
That led to Mike building a picker box, to collect the wool, and to keep down the dust.
After we run the fleece through the picker it is ready for the carding machine.
Running the carder, has been the biggest challenge. Mike has spent numerous hours making adjustments, running the machine, making more adjustments, running it some more-that has went on for many months! It has been a long drawn out process. I am not
The carder does several things, it disentangles and straightens the wool and creates a wool batt.
The carding machine we have, has a roving attachment, which take the process one step further and lets us create wool roving.
|Wool Carding Machine|
Tonight we successfully ran some wool through the carding machine!
There are still a few things to do to make things run more smoothly, but I can't tell you how excited I am to finally see an end product.
Compliments of our Romney Ewes....Beautiful Romney Roving!
I was beginning to think we would have to build another barn for all of those bags of wool that have been piling up, but it looks like that may not be necessary after all.