I’m currently knitting my first hand dyed, hand spun, hand knit sweater. That’s a lot of hands, but there is one step further back in the processing chain left to go (short of buying a sheep, which isn’t happening anytime soon).

Last weekend, I decided to take that last step, and I bought a fleece from a sheep named Molly (who I hear is a sweetheart, and produces lovely wool):

That is what you’re supposed to do at a Shepherd’s Market, right?

I spent all day on Monday separating the colors and fiber types and washing it in small batches. Then we spread it out in the sun to dry, on a rack that Branden whipped together from some scrap wood and chicken wire. There is a lot of fiber there. I’ve prepared fleeces by hand before, but never a 6 pound fleece. It’s going to make a beautiful sweater, though.

I also picked up about 9 oz of Finn roving, and learned from the shepherdess that Finns have a wonderful temperament and are lovely animals (unlike Shetlands, apparently).

It’s spinning into a slightly slubby yarn because there are lots of short fibers in the roving, but it should make a nice 2-ply fingering weight.

And finally, I couldn’t resist buying a couple of skeins of beautiful Corriedale produced on the farm that hosted the fiber festival. I’m thinking that this will make some colorwork hats or handwarmers, but we’ll see. It’s lovely yarn…I would have bought enough for a sweater if I’d had the budget and a few less things in the stash. I might just wait and buy one of their fleeces next year…