The last fleece is a very different sort. I had a special fleece from last year, from Hermione, that unfortunately had felted under the sheep coat. Those things are a double-edged sword. They do a great job of keeping the chaff and dirt out, but they can sometimes cause even bigger problems.
The fleece was so beautiful under the mat, and it was her last fleece, so I carefully cut off the mat, lock by lock. I decided that fleece deserved special treatment, so I went looking for the right fleece to blend with it.
I found it just down the road, at Windy Hill Alpaca Farm. Too bad pictures can't do justice to the feel. I can't even think of a good way to describe how wonderfully soft it is.
It was unskirted, so I ended up going through it, also lock by lock. Funny that the two fleeces required the same careful handling. I can think of many worse ways to spend an hour than sorting through an alpaca fleece, however.
I was fairly confident I could handle the washing process given all my recent on-the-job training. It was actually one of the easier ones, since I didn't have the lanolin to deal with. I did discover that alpaca fleece does a masterful job of hiding dirt, however. That thing was filthy.
Jackie, the owner, did a great job of matching the colors. The alpaca is the front fleece, with Hermione's washed Coopworth fleece in the back.
This is going to make one gorgeous pin-drafted roving.