Friday, September 12, 2014

My Carder

I spoke to my personal carder, John Erlinger, from Frankenmuth Woolen Mill in Frankenmuth, Michigan, today.  John is shipping four of my seven runs to me so I can take the luscious blends to shows with me.  The rest will come soon.  I'm anxious to see what John has done with my fibers.   It was at least a dozen years ago that I was at my booth in Rhinebeck when I dashed out with a raw fleece to drop off to a processor.   The line at Zeilinger's Mill, coincidentally also in Frankenmuth, was a mile long.  There was not a single person in line at Frankenmuth's trailer.  I had to get back to my booth inside so I gave the wool to them.  I've been patronizing Frankenmuth ever since.  I'm very happy with John's work.  I harvest, wash, dye, wash again, and dry the different colors according to the look and feel I'm trying to achieve.   He knows just how to feed the various colors into the carding machine for a lovely variegated blend.  When the bags are heavy or light, John figures out how to distribute them evenly through the runs.   The turn around time is better than any other mill I'm aware of.  Sadly, the owners of Frankenmuth Woolen Mill have decided not to go to wool festivals anymore.   They have so much business with mattress pads and comforters they don't see travelling to shows as cost effective.   I don't get to visit with John in person and we do all our business over the phone.   He ships my wool back to me postage free.  It's always an exciting day when those giant boxes are dropped off at the farm and I can play with my newly blended fibers.  I spin them into yarns that are so much more luxurious and beautiful than commercial yarns.  An added bonus is knowing the yarns come from animals who live out their lives in comfort and are never subjected to the terror of auctions.  . 

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