On Thursday, DH and I had to make a trip to Durant for hot tub supplies…well, guess what… Ozark Carding Mill is now in Durant, OK, having moved from Warsaw, Missouri! No way could we go to Durant without stopping …
I had never been in a wool processing plant before and found the entire process to be fascinating. Gail was kind enough to give us the grand tour.
The washers have the agitators removed so there is no danger of felting the wool as it is cleaned. There are approx. 6 washers with the facing wall covered with drying racks. The other room had the carders and pin roving machine. There is a huge machine that spins the pencil roving into singles and then runs across to another machine to be plied into yarn. Amazed I was…as Yoda would say.
The wonderful buttery, soft Targhee that she was spinning that day at the Sherman Butterfield Celebration Day was from her personal stash, so I could not get any of that. We went upstairs and went through her many bags and I found the most wonderful Chocolate Merino Lamb that had been made into pencil roving so I bought a pound of it.. along with 8 ounces of a Romney-Merino mix that I think will look wonderful when knitted/crocheted/woven together. The chocolate color is natural, the Romney-Merino has a small amount of dye spread throughout it for the lovely mottled look.
I had never seen how the pencil roving lays out in a lovely flower pattern in the bag. It makes it very easy to spin as it lays far enough apart that the roving does not catch on itself as it pulls up out of the bag. Gail suggested that I leave this exactly like it is and not try to roll it into balls or anything… and as I have begun spinning it, I find that she is absolutely right.
I have been spinning the chocolate pencil roving and find that the lamb has a shorter staple length than regular merino and it took me a few times of losing the thread to get the hang of spinning this. But it is really spinning up nicely. I really like the pencil roving as I am getting the most consistent size single I have ever gotten.
Hop over and see what they have to offer.. here … I have no affiliation with them at all, but I love this fiber.