Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whee, drum carder! (Almost.)

I've been saving up for a drum carder, and I've just ordered it! I purchased a Fancy Kitty brand Kitten drum carder, and I think it should be here within a week!

Why do I need one? Right now I have to rely on the generosity of friends with drum carders (hi Celeste!) or the openness of the MN Weavers Guild, and I have far more fiber and ideas than I can process with the existing availability of those carders.

Here are some of my recent batts using other people's carders. First, a few photos to show the stages of how a batch of wool becomes a batt or yarn. I call this first set Teal Steel - dark gray Romney wool was dyed with blue and greens, then carded with a little bit of carbonized (dark gray) bamboo.

Once the wool is dyed, it's picked apart - think of it getting the snarls out of hair before the fancy hairdo. The second photo in each of the next two rows shows wool that's been opened up and is ready for the carder. Then the fiber is fed into the carder and blended as much as you want. In the Teal Steel above, I did nothing to keep the colors distinct, so the batts and yarn don't have distinct differences in the range of colors.

In the first row, I started with three colors, but wanted only two colorways in the final batts. I picked each color apart separately, then divided the multi-colored one (in the middle of the second picture) between the light and the dark, and then carded. There are two lighter batts and two darker batts, each with that multi-colored fiber well blended in. You can see there's more depth in the batts than there is in the plain greens in the first picture.

In the second, which I call Rainbow Sherbet, I wanted the colors not to be blended, so that the orange, yellow, and green would stay distinct. Again, I picked apart the wool into batches based on color. I then carded each color individually, and at the end, took 1/3 of each color and layered them, with as little color-blending as possible. Each batt has the same ratio of colors - orange, yellow, and green. One is rolled inside out to show the color of the other side.

And some other batts I've made recently:

Sure, you say, but this is the Spinning Daisy, not the Carding Daisy... Where's the yarn?

Well, in addition to the Teal Steel in the first mosaic, I've been learning to spin art yarn, specifically coiled yarn.

Also some non-coiled yarn in the last row. Most of this will be up on Etsy soon - I just have to dedicate some time to list them.

And yes, I do love the Mosaic Maker, which creates photo mosaics. Why do you ask?


  1. wheee....congratulations on getting the carder!

  2. Thanks! I just checked the tracking with UPS - scheduled delivery of tomorrow!!