Thinking About My Wool, Visiting The New Fiber Mill

That’s Suzy looking at the camera.  Next to her is Merricat, Lori, Socks and Asher and Robin on the other side.

I walk past Merricat and run my hand along her back.  Her wool is about 2 inches long.  It’s spongy, soft, thick and feels substantial under my hand.

I do the same to Robin, who is too preoccupied eating to be annoyed by my touching him.  Robin’s wool is thinner, it slides under my fingers like silk.

Sometimes I just stand next to the sheep  and notice the different textures and colors of their wool.  Asher and Issachar’s are almost interchangable except for the color.  Issachar’s wool has always been darker.

Lori and Robin are the only other sheep who have similar wool.  They both turn a little lighter gray every year.

In a couple of weeks Jon and I will visit The Nobletown Fiber Mill in Hillsdale NY.  I am on their list to have my wool processed there this spring.  They’ve only been in business two years, but I have a good feeling about them.  They process wool in a that way that I’m familiar with.

But I do want to see the mill before I bring my wool there.

I’ll be uneasy enough taking my wool someplace new. I know I’ll feel better about it if I have a feeling for the place and meet the owner in person.

The sheep and selling my wool has become an important part of my life and work.  I never imagined I would feel this way about it when I got my first three sheep, Socks, Suzy and Tess over ten years ago.  I’ve worked at figuring out the best way to process and sell my wool, learning something new each shearing.

And I’ve come to have some definite ideas about how I do it.

But this year, I’ll have to do things a little different since The Vermont Fiber Mill is being sold.

The Nobletown Mill doesn’t do any dying, so I’m considering learning to dye my wool myself.  I have a friend who would like to learn too, so if all goes as I’m thinking it may, we’ll be learning together.

I will have to consider that I my wool may not be as profitable this year as it has in the past because of these changes.  But, I do trust over time I’ll figure it out and who knows what good may come of it.

If nothing else it will make for some interesting blogging and I’ll learn something new.

4 thoughts on “Thinking About My Wool, Visiting The New Fiber Mill

  1. When I was more into quilting I considered dyeing my own fabric. I wanted to use natural products when I saw the color array from mushrooms, bark and plant products. What stopped me was the more mordants to fix the dye. You might find books or teachers and your walks in the woods could supply the dye. I don’t know if wool would dye ad easily as cotton fabric but it could be an adventure to find out and an artistic experience.

    1. Natural dyes would be wonderful, but I don’t know it would be practical for me. Most of my wool is gray and I have a feeling the the natural dyes would work better on white wool, but I don’t know for sure. I also have to take into consideration how much time I put into it, since I sell my yarn. It’s what’s helps with feeding and caring for the animals. But its all good to think about. 🙂

  2. @thedogwooddyer Liz Spencer on IG does really cool, fun, and interesting things. She grows many, if not all, of the plants she dyes with. She also makes paint and out of the leftover pigment.

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