Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day One

Today was the first day the entire mill was set up and running.  It's a huge learning curve and I think it will take a while to really get the hang of everything.  Adam already has a head start on me because he spent some time at Belfast's mill.

The back bay.  This is the carder (left), drafter (right) and the spinner and plyer in the back.  The vacuum hose runs from the carder to a box that collects any loose fiber for the felting table.

The front bay.  This is the fiber separator (left), the steamer (front right), the felting table (back right) as well as the cone and skein winders (not seen)

The washing system, worktable and sink

Picker and drying racks

This is what fiber looks like out of the picker room.  It's opened up and very fluffy and loose.  This is some Shetland that was dyed about two weeks ago.

Then it gets fed into the carder.

Then through the drafter

And then it gets spun, plied and steamed before being wound into skeins.  Our very first skein is tiny, about 54 yards, and is currently hanging up to dry after having the processing oils rinsed out.  

So all in all, not a bad first day. We have a few things to tweak, but it was awesome to get in and start working on the machines.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Time Has Come

We got a call last night from Robert, who told us that our machines will come at 1pm today.


This morning we're kind of alternating between giddy, shell shocked and trying to be calm and act as if nothing out of the ordinary is going to happen.  Nothing at all.

Right now the Verizon guy is installing new phone jacks in what will be our shop/office area, because upon redoing the walls we discovered that what we thought were functional phone jacks were just glued to the wall with no wires behind them.  I'm kinda glad we discovered that before I spent a few hours plugging things in and wondering why they didn't work.

It's still a little hard to believe that this is all happening.  By tonight, we will have all the makings of an actual working mill.