I'm trying something I haven't done before: spinning fleece locks.  A Verb For Keeping Warm had some grey Polwarth locks and I'd ordered two sets, but there was a stocking glitch and Kristine only had one.  After a little discussion, she sent a grey and a white, and generously refunded shipping, definitely a place to shop again!

The Polwarth is an Australian/New Zealand breed of sheep which were originally three quarters Merino and one quarter Lincoln, established as a breed in 1880 and bred for both fleece and lean meat.  They have few wrinkles (unlike Merino sheep) which cuts down on fly problems.

The locks came beautifully packaged in a waxed paper bag.  They smell flowery and are buttery soft with only a smidge of vegetable matter in them, and I think there's a little lanolin still on the locks.  The brush is a PetSmart dog slicker.  I found a great YouTube video on flick carding in a Ravelry forum, so I tried her method.

Polwarth processing.

It helps a LOT if you hold onto the locks at one end while carding, otherwise you just get a lump of fibre stuck to the brush.  Once the ends have been flicked out, you can draft them and make a length of roving.  After a couple of tries I got the hang of it, and there's a bag of little roving balls to spin.  It's not nearly as well prepped as commercial roving but it's nice to spin from something I carded.  The dog slicker got out the short fibres and left the long stuff.  I have a new appreciation for roving now!  Spun up one roving ball and it feels very springy to spin.

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