moving the fleece I acquired earlier this year out of the way every time I want to do anything .... the time has come to get it carded and stored ready for use.
I really don't want to card the fleece in the house so a sunny afternoon was perfect. A good decision as I quickly became covered in dust and flecks of wood shavings.
A little of the fleece put onto one of the carders and worked between the two carders, straightening the fibres and removing bits of dirt.
There is a romance connected to spinning, weaving and all things related. Fairy Tales tell of Princes falling in love with young girls on the wayside spinning and sweeping them off to a life in a palace.
Nothing like that happened thankfully, those princes seemed a dodgy lot (think Rumpelstiltskin and death threats). After an hour the cat came and helped by sitting in the basket I was putting the carded wool.
Prior to letting me have this years fleece the owners of this Romney sheep have had to throw the fleeces away so are not used to keeping the fleece clear of dirt. So, despite washing the fleece when I first got it, there were a lot of bits of wood shavings; twig; and some bits of dried sheep droppings left to remove. I had done my best not to agitate the fleece to much while washing in but there were a few matted areas.
I spent the whole afternoon carding the fleece without seeming to make a dent, my carders are showing signs of wear, my arms were aching and I have scratches on my hands from the carders and some over-enthusiastic carding. There are now two bags of carded wool ready for use and all it has cost me is time. I can understand why serious spinners have carding machines this has been really hard work even though it was enjoyable. I am so grateful for being given this fleece and am looking forward to the next stage (and carding the other half of the fleece).