Fantastic Fiber Retreat

There are so many good things about this retreat that I just don’t know where to start.

Becks Fiber Painting

Lets start with Art. My friend and neighbor Becky created this amazing “painting” using nothing but fiber. I can’t wait to see it framed.

I talked to many about the wonderful uses of fiber and got schooled on how to properly prepare fleeces for use by spinners. All I can say is Keep it Clean!!!

So many friends, old and new, so many spinning wheels, drop spindles, carding boards, oh my. It was a lot to take in and I just tried to be a sponge, soaking up as much as I could. I’m still reliving the playback in my mind to help set some of the details. Such smart people there 🙂

We had a talk about skirting whole fleeces, for those who don’t know skirting is trimming off the dirty edges like the belly where the sheep lays in direct contact with the ground, and the britches where it might have urine or manure stains. The speaker kept referring to fleeces from a specific local lady (The source of my wonderful Cormos), and how they were wonderfully prepared (Very clean) so that skirting was very minimal. She pointed out the huge bags of whole fleeces across the room and encouraged us to look and see the quality that this lady offered. After class I stepped over to the bags to see for myself what raw fleece makes them go WOW and I was shocked by what I saw.

68 Card

That’s right, 68! This wonderful fleece is from my own little girl, her shearing before I acquired her. Amazing! I mean LOOK AT THIS CRIMP!

68 In the bag 2013    68 staple length

WOW! After some quick investigation I found out that these sheep are sheared twice a year, and I’m only going to shear once per year, can you imagine that crimp only twice as long? It’s mind boggling but in such a good way.

I left the retreat educated, inspired and so happy to be a shepherd.

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