A cloud of fleece.
Yes, there are bits to be picked and discarded, but no matter; that is part of the process. The Border Leicester sheep fleece seen here is to be cleaned, carded, spun. Aaron’s Shearing Service, Cummington, Mass., is the source for this fresh fiber that has a scent of lanolin and sheep.
“Any size flock, will travel” is printed on his business card. And he does sell fleece in small amounts. His stated mission (via his Facebook page) is “Service is to humbly serve shepherds with integrity by providing top quality shearing at an affordable price, with a goal of 100% shepherd satisfaction.”
Jenny Bannock, a spinner from Windsor, Connecticut, did cheerful demonstrations at the recent Fiber Festival of New England, where nearly 400 bags of fleece came in, according to Robin Meeks, a FFNE committee member and volunteer who fielded questions about how to select a fleece during the sale. “We sold about 60 percent of the fleece on the first day.”
For those seeking fleece and fiber or advice, there is a Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative, that features member listings. The Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association has a useful directory with member farms and a key to help locate fiber by breed. A site called Woolleez lists farms with roving, fleece and yarn for sale – including Massachusetts and other states.