Summer at the Mill

We’re working hard at the mill.  It is starting to heat up which means the mill runs like a dream but it gets pretty hot doing the job.  My sis has a part time job so we’re working around that.  Her son is helping me out now and then thank goodness.  We’ve seen some new breeds of sheep come in this spring which is always fun for us.  Right now we are working on a blend of wool, alpaca, and llama in white and red brown.  I think it’s going to be lovely and can’t wait to see how it comes out of the carder.

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It’s Coming Up on Shearing Time

It’s almost that time of year!  In fact some of our customers are telling us that they’ve sheared already. I need to get my two sheepies on the shearer’s schedule.  But if you’ve got your wool off the sheeps’ backs then send it on to us.  The mill is running great.  The stress that we dealt with all last year is thankfully behind us.  We marvel every day at how well the carder is working now that we’ve had it refurbished.  We are all caught up on processing which means two things:  our turn around time right now is pretty darn quick and I’ve managed to sneak some of my own wool through the mill.  I usually can’t do that because working on my wool puts us behind on running our customer’s wool.  How lame is that?  I own a wool processing mill and can’t even get my own wool done. I’m my own plumbers wife.

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A New year

We’ve had the carder refurbished and it’s working like a dream.  We are caught up and hope that this year will be a good one for us.  We like it when we’re busy and when the carder is running smoothly.  It allows us to appreciate all the great wool that we get to play with.  Not to mention it helps us keep up with our workload which has been a stress and a worry when the carder was not running well.  So here’s hoping for a great 2012.

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working like mad

We’re working like mad to try to get ahead before we take the rollers off to have new carding cloth put on.  The weather is cooling but there still seems to be enough humidity in the air to make good roving.  Still wish I could be riding in this great cool weather instead!

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Back on Course

I just wish it were a stadium jumping course.  But I haven’t had time to ride my ponies since we’ve been working like dogs at the mill.  The upside however is that we are catching up with the backlog that developed when the carder was down.  So yippee skippy.  If you have wool and you’ve been worried about our backlog, worry no more and send us your fiber.  We’re running at about a month to process an order right now.

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Some Days Are Diamonds

This wasn’t one of them.  In between running to the basement to wait out the tornado warnings, we burnt out the heating coil or what have you of the heat on demand wall heater we use to boost the heat from the big water heater.  Plus some wool that just won’t come clean and rain, rain, rain.  If the US and other western governments are really using a weather machine to cause rain in North America and drought in Iran, I sure wish they’d stop already.  I had a river running through the sheep and alpaca pasture.   On top of all that it is super hard to get wool clean and dry in this soup we’ve been living in all spring.

Speaking of wool that won’t come clean…If it’s 10 years old people, that grease is set on it. Do yourself a favor and toss it out and buy new wool.  You’ll be happier and so will we.

I did get the sheep and alpacas into the horse barn, hopefully to dry before the shearer comes on Friday.  If you need a new career path, you might consider shearing school.  There is a definite lack of professional shearers in this part of the country.  Thank goodness we at least have one.  I do wish I hadn’t have to wait so long this year to get on his schedule.  My Shetlands are starting to roo off.

Oh well the husband is bringing me home dinner so I don’t have to cook after my miserable day.  So rant over and I’m going to go take a shower and pretend I don’t have livestock for the next 13 hours.

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A Doctor’s Visit for Our Ailing Machine

We had a fellow visit from Canada to look at our machine.  He builds these for a living.  So the prognosis it that at some time in the past someone accidentally put something through the machine that wasn’t intended to go through a carder.  Wasn’t us but we’re dealing with the fallout.  We are going to need to pull off three of the rollers to have them re toothed.  Meanwhile, he did tune it up a bit so that it is presently running.   We will be getting the work done as soon as possible but meanwhile we are working.

One thing that is only peripherally related to our problems is that our machine runs best when it is working with crimpy fiber.  The more crimp the better job the carder does.  Merino, Rambouillet, Debouillet, any of the down breeds, Dorset, Hampshire, etc., our machine loves them all.  When the machine is not working optimally it will usually still run these wools.   We ran a bunch of Merino today. Yummalicious.

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