Bringing my Wool to the Mill

Checking out the wool

I’ll admit I was a little nervous when we got to the Vermont Fiber Mill this afternoon to drop off my wool for processing.  But I was first put at ease when I saw their alpacas then again when I met Debbie.

I haven’t been around a lot of alpacas, but as one of the workers at the mill said, they look like Dr Seuss animals.  It’s so true, they gathered around, curious to see Red (who seemed very confused by them) and I couldn’t help thinking of Horton Hatches An Egg.  Jon got a great photo of it check it out here. Later Jon bought us both felted alpaca inner souls for our shoes.  I’m going to use mine in my slippers that I wear in my studio.  I was thinking I would have to get a rug for the winter (the floor, although beautiful, isn’t insulated and gets pretty cold this time of year)  but now I’ll have small warm rugs under each foot.

The woman who was there before me dropped off 20 bags of marino wool, all different colors.  My 4 small bags couldn’t compare.  Although it was comforting  to see Debbie and her coworker oh and ah over how clean my wool was and the tight crimp it had.  Suddenly I was proud of my four small bags.  Debbie couldn’t have been nice, explaining how to figure out how much I should keep as roving, how much to make into yarn and the most popular ply.

Debbie weighing the wool

We decided to make Zelda’s and Socks’ wool into roving.  They were both smaller amounts of wool and Zelda’s white will be good for dying.  They’ll  make Tess’ and Suzy’s wool into yarn.  I’m not sure how much I’ll have yet, but I believe Debbie will have an estimate for me soon.  It will  all be all ready in April.  I already have a waiting lists for the yarn and roving.  Once again, when I have more info about it I’ll let you know.

It was a beautiful ride into Brandon Vermont where the mill is and leaving I knew that I made the right decision in choosing this mill.  I’m really learning to trust my instincts when it comes to such decisions.  I got a feeling for Vermont Fiber Mill from their website which was loaded with easy to follow information and had a warmth and welcoming feeling  that some of the other mills didn’t have.  And when my shearer recommended them too, I knew I would try them.  I’m so glad I did.  I can’t wait for the April phone call that my wool is ready and then I’ll be excited to do it all over again, knowing a  little more and enjoying it, this time without the nervousness.

11 thoughts on “Bringing my Wool to the Mill

  1. Maria, Can you please add me to your waiting list for yarn? Also, will it already be dyed when it is for sale?


  2. Hi Maria, This is such an exciting endeavor. Re: parallel lives, We went to our neighbor’s annual Christmas party at their Alpaca Farm just several doors down the street. It’s called Acorn Alpacas and they’re widely known in Alpaca circles. I looked at the alpaca shoe warmers but Ron got me two pairs of socks we decided on. They’re so incredibly warm in the winter. They always have a cria out for patting and loving and they’re animals are gorgeous. I love Alpaca’s poodley look and their sweet personality. Often I walk down to just watch them for my thinking or meditating time. In the nice weather that’s my treat at the end of a bikeride that I really don’t want to take! They had lots of wool for spinning and yarns for purchase. I thought of you and told Ron you’d soon be into this also. I guess they’re are no coincidences in life, as they say. 🙂 Cindy

  3. I find this whole process so fascinating – these bags of wool are so personal, aren’t they? You’ve tended the sheep, and been a part of the whole thing – how awesome that you will be able to now look forward to creating something beautiful from this yarn. Sublime!

  4. Maria, Please can you tell me the difference between roving and yarn? I have looked it up and been reading about roving but I don’t understand. How are they used differently? Thank you!

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