For the weeks before I have my sheep shorn and I bring their wool to the mill to be made into yarn, I’m anxious about it.
I’ve been doing this for about five or six years and I am much more knowledgable about the process than I was when I first started, but I still always feel like I don’t know enough. And I always worry that I’m going to be asking too many questions or that what I want done with my wool is too complicated.
It’s an old issue for me, afraid to ask for what I want, not wanting to be too much of a bother.
But the thing I don’t remember when I’m waking up at night worried about my wool is that when I actually get to the Vermont Fiber Mill with the forms already filled out and yellow post-it’s on each batch with my questions for Deb, is that it’s actually fun.
Deb, who owns the mill with her husband Ed is always willing to spend the time answering my question, going over colors and catching up on news about our animals or where Deb and her husband are vacationing this year.
This time I was concerned that I would have too much wool.
For weeks I was coming up with alternatives if Deb couldn’t process it all. But, as I learned today, the wool off the sheep weighs more than the wool once it’s cleaned and not heavy with lanolin. And that’s the weight that matters.
And if there was too much wool, I would just get some back a little later.
Now I’m wondering what I’m going to find to be anxious about when I bring the next batch of wool to the mill in the spring. I’m hoping I can remember that I’m actually pretty good at figuring out how to best process the wool, ask the right questions and get the help I need. And that I really do learn something new each time I do this.
Also, if I do make a mistake or things don’t go the way I wanted, I want to be able to trust myself to know that I’ll be able to figure that out too.
I chose this golden yellow for Liam and Rosemary’s wool and am having some of it made into roving too.
I combined Socks and Izzy’s wool and will dye half of it this maroon and the other half I’m leaving it’s natural gray and will twist it with Kim’s white wool making a Barber Pole yarn.
Suzy, Pumpkin and Biddy’s wool will be combined. A third of it will be teal, a third orange, and a third natural. I’ll be dying over a light gray, so I chose the colors knowing that they’ll come out darker than the samples. Although it’s impossible to know exactly how they’ll turn out, I have a good feeling about them.
As always, I chose colors thinking about how they would look together and with the natural grays. I’ll get the yarn back in the spring around shearing time.