Last weekend Erin and I made the eleventy million mile trip to drop our fleeces off at the mill on Prince Edward Island.
It’s very difficult to capture what the mill is like in photographs or even in video. The machinery is enormous, very loud and quite old- most of it from the late 1800s. It’s all very mechanical, in a sort of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine kind of way.
Weighing the incoming fleeces.
This is Dale. His family has owned this mill since the 18-somethings.
I love all the old fashion equipment. No digital scale here!
The receiving area was full of fleeces coming in in all kinds of bags and boxes.
Erin is sitting here so you can see the scale. That is a mountain of fleece!
Dyed wool. The mill does custom dyeing but only in 300 pound lots of a single color.
Last time Erin and I visited the mill they were washing wool. The equipment wasn’t on on this trip but it’s still pretty interesting to see.
The yarn goes through the picker to be opened up and is blown into this room. The pile of fiber in this shot was taller than me.
After the picker, the fiber goes into this massive carder. MacAusland cards all the fiber into pencil roving. (See the video below to watch the carder in action.)
Bolts of pencil roving ready for spinning are everywhere.
The bolts of roving are put on the spinning machine here. The yarn is being spun onto the cones.
It was really neat watching the yarn wind it’s way up the cones.
Once the yarn is spun it’s put onto the ply-er.
The plied yarn is wound onto cones.
I have know idea what this machine does but it was cool as all get out.
I love these big bins full of spindles.
The mill also weaves 100% wool blankets (we’re having them make some for us from farm-bought fleeces)
I know nothing about weaving but it sure looks cool. I’m mostly posting these pics for Jean and Joan who do know about weaving.
Each blanket is finished by hand.
If I haven’t already bored you half to death check out the video below, shot by Erin and edited by Harry.