Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Alpaca Fleece to Zeilinger's Mill in Frankenmuth, MI

Yesterday we delivered 42 pounds of fleece to Zeilingers in Frankenmuth, MI, to be made into four batches of roving. If you haven't been to their mill, you are missing a super treat. When I go back to pick up my lovelies, I will try to remember my camera so that I can give you a tour. Gary has always been there to greet me at the door, help reweigh the fleeces, offer advice, and answer any questions that I have. I had 4 batches to be blended which I'm going to describe to you.
Blend # 1 - 11.3 pounds - 50% Merino, 49% Alpaca from Ana, pictured above, and 1 % Mohair.
I purchased the white Merino from Genopalette, McMurrys, this winter with this blend in mind. This picture is of their Merino lambs that they were kind enough to send to me. Notice the lambs tails haven't even been docked yet so they must be quite young.
The beautiful white mohair is from Edie, here in Michigan and her store SpinningMoonFarm. This is a picture of her little Ted born this spring.
Blend # 2 - 8.84 pounds - 35% Our BabyDoll Sheep fleece and 65% alpaca from Lady Belita and Celeste.

Blend # 3 - 9.28 pounds - 25% colored Merino from Genopalette and 75% brown alpaca from Sonata (pictured above) and Orion (you've met him here many times because of his school and 4-H adventures).

Blend # 4 - 13.3 pounds - 100% alpaca from the seconds (neck and hip fiber) of Ana & Pollux (WHITE), Luke, Orion, Polaris (BROWNS), and naughty Gunny (BLACK & GRAY). These colors will be added around each other in the roving. It's called a 3 way swirl.
Just in case anyone is interested in the finances involved here. The cost was $308.72 but Zeilingers offers a 10% discount if paid there by check, so it was actually $277.85.
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Now the anxiety of waiting 2 months for it to be finished. An incredible amount of time and energy goes into this final act of delivering fiber to the mills. I wake up at night thinking about what I want to do and spend hours on my deck going through each fleece, discarding vegetation, second cuts, and coarse fiber. Today is a little anticlimatic. It's sort of like getting the kid off to college the first time - the years of prep and worry and then just dropping him/her off. This analogy is an exageration, of course, but you get the idea.