Jan 22, 2007

Wool processing!

So a post on (I think) the Spindlers list mentioned not rolling up the wool that comes off hand carders, but just prying it off and making mini-batts rather than rolags. I've been considering doing that for a while, so that combined with the presence of the aforementioned basket of washed, unprocessed wool sparked the inspiration to have at. My hand carders have been feeling neglected anyway.

The actual basket of Columbia is for combing, because it's the nice bits that I really like, and I like combed top rather better than carded wool. There was an accompanying plastic bag of wool with way more VM, though, that I instinctively wanted to card instead of combing even though that means the result will have more VM in ... I'd just rather have more wool to work with, with a little more VM in it, in a preparation I don't like as much, than end up with only a tiny bit of spinnable top and a whole bunch of "stuffing" wool with bits of grass and such in it. Today I picked up that bag of VMy wool and had at it with the hand carders.

But wait! There's more. ;) I actually hand-picked the wool first, too, to get as much VM out as possible. And I'm using the easy "card twice" method that someone mentioned on the list: load one card, comb it with the other as if brushing hair, then switch cards, do it again, and remove the wool. The more involved method(s) of carding puts me off ... and because I already gave in and let myself make fluffy spinnable fiber rather than smooth spinnable fiber while I'm usually inclined toward the worsted methods, it's okay if the fibers aren't perfectly aligned and if I have to stop and pick out VM as I spin. New frontiers, and all. ;) Patient spinning rather than speed spinning. Wooo. ;D

It would be cool if I made it through this bag of fiber. I brought another with me in case I'm in the groove -- I process fiber so rarely that I ought to take advantage of the mood when I can -- but it seems likely I won't make it all the way to that bag. It's quickly getting dark and I'm carding on the porch so I don't get VM all over the inside floors for the cat to spread everywhere ;), plus it's started raining, which makes it more interesting, to say the least, to fling my VM-covered lap cloth to the winds and start with a clean surface.

Yay in any case. Yay for finally getting back to fiber processing. Maybe I'll even manage to wash another fleece in the next couple of weeks. ;)
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