12. September 2008 12:11
more adventures with wool. I finally got my wool cards in the mail (yay! mail that isn't a bill!)
I got a set of Ashfords, I guess a step up from the beginner ones. Talk about torture though, they come unassembled, so you have to screw on the handles and wait overnight for the wood glue to dry before you can use them! How uncool is that... I had to stare at them until I went to bed that night, and wasn't able to try them out right away. (sniffle) Isn't that a bit like giving a kid candy and telling her she can't eat it until tomorrow? totally cruel.
But the next day... ready to go. Glue was dry, and the cards were calling my name. I started out by flicking open the tips of the locks with my Flick Card, then laid the staples of wool on the new cards and gave it a try. After a little clumsy and awkward fluffing, and some mild profanity, I managed to get soft fluffy rolags to play with. I was really surprised at how much softer and suppler the singles turned out from the rolags, as compared to when I spun straight from flicked locks. This was also my first attempt at spinning woolen, as all I have had to work with up to this point is pre processed roving. New experience, but a good one I think. It would be nice to try and make a really fluffy soft yarn sometime.
I was really surprised also at how much I actually enjoyed the carding process. I've read before about how some people find it tedious and annoying to process fiber. Me on the other hand? I found it to be as enjoyable as the spinning process itself. I think maybe its the back to basics, grass roots feeling of it all. Imagine... I took wool straight from a sheep, washed it, carded it, and then spun it. Very primitive in its nature, but also thrilling in its simplicity too.
As part 2 of the Carding Experiment, I decided to blend some of the odds and ends of fiber I had kicking around at home. The blending part was actually very exciting. I really liked the depth of colour you can get by blending different things together. In particular, the blend of soft natural chocolate brown alpaca, silk hankie, and leicester was quite surprising. It made a nice soft brown colour that was unusually warm. I'll have to wash it and see what the finished yarn knits up like sometime. The next batch of locks I wash, I want to try dying and blending some colours on the cards. sounds like a lot of fun... uh oh, what if dying is just as addictive? Could be trouble
All three samples are navajo plied (3-ply) and fibers are as follows:
top sample - Leicester.
middle - brown suri alpaca with leicester and a
touch of raw silk hankie
bottom - Romney.
And finally, Spindle Pics... this is that natural coloured Leicester, singles spun from the rolags in the earlier pics. I have about enough of this I think for a small pair of mittens. I was thinking I'd maybe try making thrum mittens, and use some funky dyed super-soft roving inside, since the wool itself isn't as soft as I would have liked