Over the past year I had somehow got bitten by the raw fiber bug, more so not too long ago. I was over my head in raw fiber, over 60+ lbs of raw, unpicked, greasy, awesome fiber. I HAD NO CLUE WHAT TO DO WITH IT ALL!!! Besides the point of having all this fiber I got a bug in my ear from my father about how hard could it be to open a mill of my own.
Then I met Ridgeley.
I met her for the first time when I called her mill inquiring about her services when I only had a few lbs of alpaca and a jacob/shetland fleece. I then put off sending it in, and put it off, and soon I came over my head in fibery goodness. I then liked her facebook page and never turned back. Soon we became friends on facebook and chatted for many hours about fiber and everything about carding mills.
This was the sad part: we live about 3.5 hours away
I couldnt see driving all that way or even to drop these fleeces in the mail and not knowing if this is what I was able to send. I havent even skirted or sorted these fleeces because I had NO idea how to do those two things.
So I had to find a way to Blue Hills Fiber Mill.
I started to save my pennies to get this mill run underway. In the guild I am in, a good friend of mine has this awesome economical car called a prius and I asked her if she would want to drive me up to this mill with all this stinky fiber in her car and take this trek to the mill and we could both learn a few things. She agreed and we started the trek around 9:00 am and got there around 1:00 pm that was a long drive but that car was extremely comfortable.
While at the mill Ridgeley delighted us with a whole tour of her mill and fiber farm. During the mill tour she showed us each one of the integral part of her mill and showed us how each part worked and why each part was important for the next step. It was awesome to see the mill in its entirety and get to see what happens to the fiber between the animal and my wheel in the sense of a fiber mill. I love the entire sense of being completely surrounded by the smell of the raw fiber and fell in love with the process.
Then the tour of her animals. She showed us her farm of Alpacas, and her flock of fiber sheep that contained different breeds of sheep and explained each of their fiber to us, which later she showed us exactly what their fiber looked like and acted like in different scenarios.
Then came my fiber. I had to skirt sort and label everything! Ridgeley took the time to help explain what was going on with each process of skirting and sorting and bagging. This was the most helpful time that I have had in my entire fibery lifetime. I learned that just because its fiber, doesnt mean that I HAVE to keep it all. It is ok to throw fiber away!
I would like to publicly and personally thank Ridgeley for all the time that she spent with me and my friend. Everything was beneficial to our learning more about our craft. I am grateful that I chose you as my mill of choice and now I know that what I send to a mill is what I get back, mills are not miracle workers. She also got me started on washing my own fiber in a technique called Fermented Suint Washing. Yes, when it says fermented, it will STINK. I think I can handle it.
Again, thank you Ridgeley, for everything you do and everything that you have done for