Grumpy’s Fleece II


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This matted mess is what I started with. Very discouraging to have the fleece turn into these nast matts. However, all is not lost.

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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.

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Soft and fluffy again. The fleece just needs carded and spun. Or dyed, carded and spun.

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Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? In this case the word is “HOT” a thousand times. LOL

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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.

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The Next Step – A Picker


Lil Dynamo - lives up to it's name.

Lil Dynamo – lives up to it’s name.

I’ve got several llama fleeces, and the problem with llamas are they are dirt bathers.

After a few hours with an unwashed llama fleece, I wake up that night with my sinuses completely closed up.

That’s a LOT of dirt.

So washing a llama fleece takes many, many washings. Each one has the potential to matt the fleece a little bit more.

So the other day, I really blew it and matted a white llama fleece. It was just a mess. Not felted, because I could pull it apart, but the fiber was in knots. I went to Etsy to price pickers and found this little oak picker that is small enough to fit under the bed.

I put a fist full of matted llama in. It took a couple of passes to get the mats out, and with it came handfuls of dirt. But the fiber is a lovely fluffy mass now. Not a matted mess. (Big sigh of relief!)

I think carding is now possible.

Llama Fiber Mega Stash


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As you can see, I’ve been busy processing the llama fiber I was given. The large brown crate on the floor is full to the brim with washed fiber that needs picked and carded. The white bags are full of unwashed fiber. The tilted crate is half full of Appalousa llama fiber, which appears to be free of guard hair. It’s all pure fluff. There are still two bags of fiber in the car. (gulp)

You can see I’ve got a huge task ahead of me. If I wasn’t itching for something to do, I’d be freaking out. It’s fairly easy to wash the fiber, though it’s full of dirt and bits of vegetation. Once it’s washed and rinsed, it dries into mats. I use conditioner to make it easier to pick, otherwise it developes a wicked case of static cling.

The mats can be broken up by hand, or with a picking machine. A picking machine is an ugly bed of nails that rips the fiber mats open. It will also give an unwary woman a masectomy, so it has to be used with caution. Once the mats are turned into fluff, the fiber can be carded either by hand or with a machine.

This week, I have washed one bag of fiber, the chestnut. The crate contains the bulk of it. I have carded 4 oz. I’ve spun all 4 ounces into 2 skeins. One skein is already half of an infinity scarf. The other skein is drying on the rack. Once it is dry, I’ll crochet the rest of the scarf.

Thus far, the appalousa llama is the most intreging fiber. It’s also very dirty. I thought one wash and rinse was enough, but I was wrong. This guy liked to wallow in clay dust. (shrug) No big deal, really.

I’m toying with the idea of dying some of the white. (BTW – appalousa is white with tan spots.) I’ve got lavender and turquois dyes that should really look good with the mottled fiber. Not sure about that yet, it might be entirely too time consuming for Christmas presents.

I’m also looking into Dragon speach to text software. I suspect I won’t have my hands free until summer. LOL