I finally got the call that my roving was ready, so I took advantage of the beautiful day to drive up to Independence Farmstead Fibers, which is just outside of Brenham. They have only been in business since 2014, but are fast becoming overwhelmed by fleece since there just aren't any other mills around that will process small amounts. They will process your fleece into roving or yarn, so a lot of the local sheep ranchers have been sending them fleece, too. They are currently not accepting any more fleece, so I was very happy I took mine in when I did! You can see in the photos below that they've got a big stash to get through. It was really interesting to see the machinery and the steps the fiber goes through.
I had given them a Romney fleece and a Polworth fleece that had been languishing in my stash for a few years. I had purchased Princess (the Romney) from Skylines Farm in Idaho. It was a beautiful fleece weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds. I cleaned it in a fermented suint vat (FSV), with one additional wash in Dawn. It had a little bit of lanolin left, but not enough to need another wash. After washing and processing into roving, I still had 6 pounds. Here's the fleece as it came from the farm.
The Polworth fleece is one from Jane Sheppard's stash, that was given to me by her friend Denise. I don't remember her owning any Polworth sheep, so I'm pretty sure it was one she bought. It had already been washed when I got it, and weighed 4.6 pounds. I used a few ounces of it during the 2014 Tour de Fleece on Ravelry, so I was happily surprised to end up with 4.1 pounds of finished roving! Especially since it had to have another wash at the mill.
So now I have 10 pounds of fluffy, fresh roving. Ready to start spinning for Spinzilla 2016. I'll probably just spin a lot of boring singles, then I can decide how much to make into 2-ply for lace knitting, and 3-ply for a sweater.