Drum carding

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the original hot pink spun on the left, the new blend on the right

I've now tried and instantly become addicted to drum carding. On Saturday I rented the Louet junior drum carder from Lettuce Knit and so far I've made lots of blended batts and reached the point where I am now rummaging around to find more things to card. It's like that.

Batts resulting from the hot pink blended with dark brown, and the hot pink blended with pale pink

So just to show you how it works, and how fun it is, I'll show you my main project. I had a 1/2 pound bag of very vibrant hot pink corriedale top that was languishing around since I didn't really like the colour anymore. It was just too bright. So I dyed some of it dark purple/brown, then blended that with the original hot pink to soften the colour. Then I blended some of the original hot pink with some very pale pink.

 Then I blended the resulting dark pink and medium pink with more of the pale pink while keeping the stripes fairly distinct.

I find I use the dog brush a lot while drum carding. I use it to remove the batts with gentle short strokes so that little strands aren't left behind. You can also turn it around and use it to burnish the batt as you would with a burnishing brush. It smooths the batt down and you can make a denser batt.

 The resulting batt - rolled up

The batts aren't too wide with the junior drum carder, so I've found the best way to handle the batts once they're done is to draft them out a little bit, then wind them up into a ball. Drafting out a bit helps straighten out any last little bits of fibre that aren't perfectly aligned and makes the batts easy to spin.

Now I have a big basket of rolled up batts ready to spin. And this is the resulting yarn:

I really like the look of it, I guess you would call it a marled yarn. I don't know what I'm going to make with it though. I should be spinning with a project in mind shouldn't I? Oh well I don't really mind having extra handspun around... although I will probably try to find a project so that I can decide the best way to ply the yarn to get the weight and yardage I'll need. But for now I just love carding. And spinning.


Shannon February 18, 2010  

"Spin with a project in mind." I've heard rumors of such a thing, but I've never understood quite what it meant. :)
Seriously, though, there may be a point when you'll want to do just that, but there's nothing wrong with just spinning to be able to spin. If nothing else, it will help you be able to better spin for a project, when you have one you want to work on.

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