The drum carder arrived: a gift from The Reluctant Farmer. A drum carder allows me to take wool from the sheep (washed first) and run it through the carder to make batts, which are then useful for things like quilt filling or as raw material for spinning. This takes the place of hand carders and is much, much, much faster and produces far better 'stuff'. We tested it out! You can see Princess Girl wearing one end result on her head, Dinosaur Boy wearing one as a Santa Beard, and The Boy holding someof the raw material in his hands. I have the tool used to pull the finished batts off of the carder, it's a wicked sharp thing.
The wool I sent out for processing also came back from the mill yesterday: I had sent in wool from Natalie and Brownie (the Icelandic ewes) and some of the wool from the pile of Columbia and Hampshire "junk wool" given to me by a friend. My goodness, did it ever turn out nice! I spun up some of the Icelandic and it is soft and fuzzy and beautiful. I also tried spinning some of the Southdown wool (Jack's fleece) that we carded up on the drum carder, and although it's a bit on the slubby side (due in no small part to my crummy shearing job) it is quite serviceable and much better than what I can do with hand carders.
The kids had fun helping me, too, as you can see .... so all in all, it was a fun night. :)