Prepping the next project

Good morning and happy Saturday! I am still working out a few minor aches and pains from cleaning the snow from the driveway this week. It’s not that the task was that strenuous. Using a snow blower sure makes it a lot easier than trying to shovel it all. No, my aches are the result of the wet and slushy coating on the driveway combined with my own wonderful sense of balance, coordination, and grace. And by wonderful I mean bad. Really bad. Thankfully I am not seriously hurt.

The brown roving from my friend Robert is coming along nicely. Of the roughly two pounds that I started with, there is about ten ounces left to spin. At the pace I have been going, I should have that finished within the week. Once I have finished filling all four of my spinning wheel’s bobbins it will be time to wind everything onto storage bobbins. Then I repeat until all of the roving has been spun. Each full Kromski bobbin produces about three of the larger plastic weaving shuttle bobbins that I use for storage/plying, and each of those storage bobbins has about an ounce of spun singles.

As I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this project, I am already making plans for the next. As part of my recent stash organization and clean out efforts, I discovered a few bags of washed locks from the Romney fleeces I bought a while back. I decided this would be my next project and began the process of carding.

My drum carder is the Fancy Kitty “Kitten” model which, although small, is a capable little workhorse. The drum could fit a lot more than the amounts that I usually work with for each batt that I card, but I find that it is easier and more efficient to work with between one and two ounces per batt, and that is just for general preparation for spinning. If I am carding to blend different fibers or colors I will work with even smaller amounts per batt.

On the left is what the batts look like after the first pass through the drum carder. On the right are the locks left to be carded.

I ended up with eight batts after the first time through the drum carder. Each batt has to be run through multiple times to ensure a smooth and even distribution of fibers. This also helps work out bits of vegetable matter, second cuts, and sun-damaged tips from the fiber. To help ensure an even distribution of the fibers from the different color Romney locks I had, as well as ensure that each one was roughly the same weight, I split them into eight roughly equal pieces and then made eight piles with one piece from each of the previous batts, and then each pile went back through the carder. I repeated that process four or five times the other night, and this morning I will repeat it at least twice more.

This is after four or five passes through the drum carder.

I am really looking forward to spinning this Romney and I may grab a spindle to sample some of it while I continue with another project at my wheel. That’s it for this morning. Have a great weekend!

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