Yesterday I attended a workshop billed as From Animal to Product at the Big Red Barn near St. Joe. My goal was to get some hands-on experience with picking and washing fleece, then carding the result. The reality was heavy on the picking and washing, light on the carding.
No pics at the event itself because our hands were busy. We each received two small bags of fleece, sheep in one, alpaca in the other. We picked the sheep wool, washed it about four times, then rinsed it and laid it out in the sun to dry. We also picked the alpaca. The two fleeces were very different to work with, the former denser. We didn't wash the alpaca there - running short on time - but we were able to take it home to continue the lesson on our own.
We used a drum carder on some already carded alpaca, blending in colors as desired. Since I had to be somewhere, I worked a little orange wool into the undyed alpaca, just to say I had done it. I have some experience with drum carding already and was hoping for more practice with hand carding, mainly because I do not have $$$ to spend on a drum carder of my own. The Big Red Barn "rents" time on their drum carders, so I do have access, but I still want to learn to work with hand carders.
Just looking at the chubby rolag makes me itchy to get back to spinning. So much fiber, so little time!