Hello. My name is Sigrid Piroch and I'm pleased to join your forum. I have written for Interweave Press since they first formed back in the 1970s. It's been a wonderful opportunity to share my research and folk life (Slovakia and other places) and unique techniques.
I would like to locate a full merino fleece, in the grease, any color, with as long a staple as possible.
When I taught a few years ago in New Zealand, I was happy to make the acquaintance of a sheep grower in the southern tip of the country, where most of the sheep "grow". This lovely man oriented me to his flock of over 5,000 and explained how he worked to improve the quality of his merinos. At the time I was lucky to obtain a sheep that had skipped an annual shearing, so the fleece the next year was quite long and lovely to work with. Typically a 4-inch washed because smaller so combing is ruled out. In his case, the fleeces were about 8 inches and, after washing, was closer to 5.5. This allowed for great variety of fun and interesting processing techniques.
P.S. Please let me know if you know a source for this fleece! - Sigrid