Bringing My Wool To Nobletown Fiber Works

Me and Lewis looking at my wool and discussing how to process it.  Photo by Jon Katz

Jon and I sat in the diner in Hillsdale, NY waiting for our lunch.  We had just dropped my wool off at Nobletown Fiber Works and I was feeling a surge of relief.

I’ve gotten so used to working with Deb at The Vermont Fiber Mill  for the past ten years and since she let me know they were closing I’ve been nervous about finding a new mill to process my wool.

When Jon and I visited  Lewis, the owner of  Nobletown Fiber Works early in the spring, I had a good feeling about the place and I was relived to know I was signed up with the mill.

But I was still a bit nervous about how it would all go.  Some of the mills I called were very particular and wouldn’t even think of putting me on their schedule without seeing my wool first.

The relief I felt came from meeting with Lewis today.  We went through each bag of wool discussing the length and type of wool and how it could best be used.  The wool from the fall shearing was shorter than from the spring which can make it difficult spin together.

Lewis said having the names of the sheep was helpful because over the past few years since he opened the mill he has gotten to know the sheep fleeces by name.  He even has favorites that he looks forward to working with.

I made some changes in the processing.

I’m going to make Issachar’s and Merricat’s into a brown and white Barber Pole or Marled yarn. So it will be a dark brown and white twist.   I’ll still have some of Merricat’s white wool and Issachar’s dark brown wool made into yarn separately too.

I’m going to make Robin’s wool into the thick rug wool and all of Constance’s wool will be all made into 3 ply worsted yarn.

We also talked about shearing and I will continue to shear Robin, Merricat and Constance twice a year.  I’ll save their wool and have it processed with the Spring shearing as I did this year.

Lewis was so helpful and fun and easy to work with.  He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.  And by the time we left my doubts were replaced with confidence.

Nobletown Fiber Works is in the process of expanding, with classes and building a new barn to put in Pre-Industrial Revolution tweed weaving looms, but for now their schedule is filled up.  Mine is the last wool order he’ll be taking for a while.

I feel fortunate to have found Nobletown when I did.  I knew when I was looking for a new mill that it wouldn’t be easy.   It’s the only one I found close by that will process my wool the way I want it.

I was a bit concerned because they don’t dye wool and in the past years I’ve been getting my wool in four or five different colors.

But I feel like the new option of the rug wool, making the Barber pole or Marled yarn, and making roving in three different colors, Kim’s white, Lori’s gray and Ahser’s dark brown, brings something new to the natural colors.  Next time I may make some felted batts with the wool too.

I’ll get my yarn and roving back in 6-8 months.  So I won’t have it in the fall as usual, but can expect it in January or February.   That’s throws my  schedule off.  As many of you know, for the past ten years I’ve had wool to sell by October or November.

But that’s all part of the change.  Of  letting go of the the known and expected.  Of learning a new way of doing something.  Change has always been good for me.  I’ve come to trust it.

“I think I did good,” I said to Jon as the waitress brought our food.  “I trusted my instincts and found a good mill for my wool.”   Jon thought so too.


4 thoughts on “Bringing My Wool To Nobletown Fiber Works

  1. Don’t be afraid of the undyed colours they are lovely. They can be combined with each other, contrasting or similar and create something beautiful.

  2. Relief that you found them.

    “But that’s all part of the change. Of letting go of the the known and expected. Of learning a new way of doing something. Change has always been good for me. I’ve come to trust it.”

    May we all learn to trust it.

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