Well, that didn’t take long! In only 24 days, I have been notified that Last Move Farm will indeed be a Small Scale Farm Grant recipient! Where oh where to begin? At the beginning, I suppose.
Once Rambo’s progeny hit the ground, I thought it imperative to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could about fleece. What is good; what is bad? What types and breeds work best for hand-spinning, felting, dying and the plethora of other projects for which people seek out wool to purchase. Does color matter? In what state does fiber sell best? Raw? Washed? Processed into batts? Roving? Yarn? And just what the heck do all those terms mean anyway?
My study of all the above led me to seek out those who could a) answer all my questions and b) had the patience to deal with me and my zeal for learning. Turns out, people who love their fiber seem to love to share and foster that love in others. Well, thank goodness for that!
Kathy Meyer and I had decided to partner up on making fleece a bigger part of both our operations, in the quest to expand our profit margins. In the interest of helping me to learn, Kathy invited me on to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival committee, and then shrewdly made sure my services were utilized in places where I could learn more, faster. Notably, as overseer of the Wool Contest and Fleece Sale and helper to the fleece judge.
Good call, Kathy! There was nowhere better to see, feel and take notes on fleece from so many different breeds of sheep, as well as to interact with spinners and artists eager to purchase fiber up for sale. Over the past 3 years serving in that capacity, I have been privileged to work with fiber producer and wool judge Hannah Nilsson. In addition, I have met a plethora of fiber producers and artists, and I have become familiar with numerous and varied sheep breeds and their wool characteristics.