Again, we are extremely grateful and fortunate for the network of support and expertise we have around us. Our plan is to process all the alpaca fleece we currently have stockpiled over the past 2 years, as well as some samples of sheep and goat fleeces, as we learn the nuances of the equipment, the fibre, the environment and the process before officially opening the doors to the public. Admittedly there is a lot to learn, but we’re confident that we have a solid foundation to build on and the drive and commitment to get it done.
Much thought and consideration was put into the planning of the mill structure and layout and we’re confident that not much was overlooked (except for the mirror). Our combined backgrounds and years of experience in manufacturing and processing guided us to the placement of the machines and will result in efficiencies and clear lines of sight in the process which will be beneficial as the business grows.
We are pleased with our decision to choose McDermott equipment and Aldo is already calculating and tracking the throughput of the different machines. Nothing like production targets (and stop watches) to get the motors humming! Be proud Chuck!
I must admit that I’m surprised at our collective ability to admit defeat and walk away when frustrated, knowing that coming back the next day will bring more positive results.
After less than a week, we’ve already produced some beautiful yarns including 100% shetland sheep 3ply, 100% alpaca 3ply in different weights, alpaca/nylon sock yarn and a blend of alpaca, mohair & merino. There is a healthy supply of roving waiting patiently (can roving be patient?) to be spun into more beautiful yarns and plain white yarn waiting to have vibrant colour splashed over it.
Soon the doors of Grand Valley Fibre Company will open and the fibre producers will have the choice of another custom mill in Ontario and we’ll look fondly back to these early days and smile at our connection to Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory!