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Trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool (Almost Heaven!)

Well I'm back after two exciting days at the Maryland Sheep and Wool. My first stop was at a booth for Lavender Hills Farm where I purchased 2 lbs of Cormo. She told me that she some one of her fleeces took 2nd place in the judging and another took 3rd. Sure enough when DH and I got down to where the fleece sale was there were her fleeces in the silent auction. Wehad a bit of a wait to get in the fleece sale as it did not open until 9AM, The wait seemed like forever. Women were lining up behind us and when they opened the gate, it was a madhouse. People were just snatching up bags of fleeces, sometimes right out from under your nose. I had never bought a fleece before so I was timid when looking. I was looking for a fine wool and had just about given up when I heard someone say, "there are not many of those here this year". Suddenly one of the volunteers came over to help me, like an angel out of nowhere. She took me over to a spot she knew where some fine wool fleeces were. Showed me how to pull out a lock so as not to disturb the fleece, explained how to look at the tips, ( the first one she explained was from a young sheep,the tips looked different from the rest and she said that you would loose that part when processed).She explained about testing the strength and how to do it. She knew the detailed history of every breed we looked at.(very impressive). I bought 4 fleeces with her help. All were from covered sheep. Three were from Roclans Farm(well respected in this area) A 9 1/2lb blue gray Merino(this sheep was originally from Mendenhall farm, California, they were the Grand Champion here this year), a 5 1/2lb fawn RambouilletX, a 4lb golden fawn RambouilletX. The fourth fleece was a 7 3/4 lb black/brown Merino. We sent them out to Ozark mills for processing. I'm excited to see what I get back(weight wise). How much weight loss do you think the wool will have from grease etc. What is normal? I'm on Cloud Nine, my DH just said get it if you want it, and I did not argue!!

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