A few years ago I bought a longwool fleece from a local shepherd.
It’s not a great fleece, but it is the first one I ever bought, and the largest. It weighed eight pounds before I washed it, and over the years I’ve played with it, trying out different spinning and processing techniques, and generally just putzing around with it learning about how to deal with raw longwool fleece.
I have two pounds of it still, rough washed and packed up into 8oz lots in zip lock bags. Last year I bought my self a pair of the most excellent Valkyrie Viking Combs, and the plan is to comb the fleece one bag at a time, and eventually end up with a nice lot of worsted spun yarn, and a nice lot of woolen spun.
Today I started working on this project, by pulling out the combs and setting them and getting the little 1.4oz bag of the longwool out and combing it.
I haven’t done a lot of wool combing, so there’s a learning curve, and it took me a few hours working on and off through the afternoon to get the whole small bag combed.
In the end I had .5 oz of cardable short wool, .4oz of nicely combed top, and a big mess on my carpet. Loss was .5 oz, some in a couple of locks that were just too matted and gunky to comb at all, and some in the mess of dust, VM and wool bits left on the carpet.
Conclusions — this is going to be a slow project. The fleece needs to be washed again before I comb more of it. Combed top is lighter then air. This is going to be fun!
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