Sheep….Wool

My Wool
My Wool

I got an email this morning from Vermont Fiber Mill  that my wool was ready.  Jon and I planned to stay home and stack wood and plant some more seeds, but I couldn’t wait to see my wool.  So we drove to Brandon Vermont, picked up the wool and roving, visited the Alpaca’s at the Mill then had lunch in town.  Debbie, who owns the mill,  told me that the wool was very clean and not greasy.  Good for me to hear, now I know I did a good job skirting (cleaning) it this fall.

I got 19 skeins of 3 ply, 200 yd wool from Tess and Suzy and 5 bumps of roving 2 white from Zelda and 3 brown from  Socks.   I still have to figure out the pricing and go over my list of orders.  So, if you’re on my list, I’ll be emailing you tomorrow with all the information.  I don’t know at this point if I’ll have extra or if I’ll even have enough to fill the orders I already have.

Soon, sometime in April, it will be time to shear the sheep again.  From now on, I’ll only be shearing them once a year in the spring.   The first sheering I couldn’t have Ma’s fleece made into wool because when I got her she hadn’t been sheared in over a year and her wool unusable.  This time, her fleece should add a few more skeins on to the total.

Roving from Zelda and Socks
Roving from Zelda and Socks

23 thoughts on “Sheep….Wool

  1. Hi Maria,
    I apologize if you already answered this, but can you explain the main things roving is used for as opposed to wool? I’m not a knitting/sewing person and am trying to learn. This is fascinating to me. Thanks!

    1. Yes Diane, the roving is the wool before it is spun into yarn. Hand spinners will buy it and spin it on their spinning wheels to make yarn.

  2. Hi Maria,

    Let me know if there is any wool left over but if not, I will wait until the next lot! Congratulations!

  3. Very nice!
    I have looked up “roving” in my dictionary but it is so strange. I can see what it is in the picture but the dictionary says
    synonym for
    range, drift, swan, stray, wander, roam, ramble, vagabond ?????

  4. Hi Maria: The photos of the yarn and roving are wonderful! You’re going to make lots of knitters and spinners happy when they receive either or both of them. Whatever is made, kudos will go to Bedlam Farm’s sheep and to you, and that will make what’s knitted and spun even more special.

  5. The wool looks beautiful! Congratulations!! I am sure some lucky knitters will create some great items with some of it!

  6. Here are some definitions:

    – true top, usually combed by hand, is what you use to spin worsted yarn. All the fibers are parallel and smoothed down, with no air in it.

    – in commercial top the fibers pretty much go the same direction, but there’s lots more fiber and it feels different from combed top.

    – a batt is made on a drum carder and it loks like a “blanket” made of fibers, where the fibers are more or less aligned.

    – a roving is carded and the fibers are made into a wrist-thick rope or braid.

    The fiber Maria has isn’t really roving; they are batts or “bumps”.

  7. Batts and bumps are more or less the same thing. Roving is more like a long, fibery rope that may be separated into smaller, thinner ropes for ease in spinning. You can do the same thing with batts and bumps. Really, it’s all about preference when spinning and what you ultimately want to do with the fiber once you’ve spun it. I’ve worked with batts/bumps, roving, rolags (don’t get me going!), top – it’s all good when you spin. People who use spindles sometimes like roving better mostly because it’s more portable than a big batt. But, you can break any of these down to what you want or need. Many things work.

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