That’s just a gorgous picture of Grumpy.
This matted mess is what I started with. Very discouraging to have the fleece turn into these nast matts. However, all is not lost.
This is a fleece picking machine. A small one that is very powerful. See those razor sharp nails? They pick apart the fleece. What you get is in the next photo.
Soft and fluffy again. The fleece just needs carded and spun. Or dyed, carded and spun.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? In this case the word is “HOT” a thousand times. LOL
Even the flowers are wilted in the heat, drip irrigation can’t keep up with the heat. Might have to turn it to the highest setting.
So I made the skirting table out of bird netting and PVC pipe. It’s a nice, large surface, and half the fleece fit on it. I shook a lot of dirt out of the fleece before I washed a small part of it.
Three changes of water with soap, two rinses and a stint in the spin cycle later. Well, it was okay, fairly clean, and of course, matted.
I ran it through the picker and got a soft cloud of lovely fluff. I carded some of it.
Tomorrow I start spinning this fluff into yarn.
There will be pictures, I promise.
I was starting to panic – Grumpy was carrying two bags of fleece on his little body. I knew he was suffering.
But I found a woman who would shear them for us. I helped, and the guys seemed to appreciate that it was me who held them and talked to them. They came back to the barn for food afterwards, which is always a good sign.
We have 4 bags of fleece from three alpacas. Grumpy’s is longer and bulkier than the others.
I’m going to start working on the fleeces tonight. Going to build a skirting table for the fleece and pick the second cuts and fiber out of it. The dirt will need to be washed out. Over and over again.
“Hey dog, those are MY chickens!”
I’ve been busy, and haven’t posted pictures of the new Alpacas.
As you can see, they were sheared in late summer or fall. There’s not so much fleece on them. There are a lot of burrs, too. As usual, they aren’t the kind of guys to stand still to be groomed.
But I WILL work on that. I prefer my ‘llamas’ as well mannered as my horses. This is going to take a LOT of treats.
Also, I’ve got to get them off the expensive Senior Feed that goes to the old horses.
Got to cut corners where I can.