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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spinning Down that Slippery Slope

Step 1: down the slippery slope. The bug bites.
I've fought long and hard not to travel down that slippery slope. No spinning for me! I need another hobby like I need more size 5 knitting needles! I suppose it started at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool a couple years back, when I tried a Babe and made some very gnarly yarn. The Mielke Farm ladies at the booth were so charming, I acquired a drop spindle kit. Then I ordered two large balls of Corriedale in pumpkin and green and made more gnarly yarn. I laid things to rest for awhile, but one day I just woke up and said, okay, I want to spin. And, Opal, was there to enable me with some superwashed BFL.

Step 2: Acquire fiber to spin.
a. Buy it. This beauty is hand dyed Superwash BFL from Hungry for Handspun.

b. Re purpose it. In the quest for wool stuffing, more Brown Sheep Mill ends from The Sheep shed. The blue stuff came as an lovely little extra.

c. Gifts
The Icelandic pencil roving and hand dyed merino from blogless Sandy. The pencil roving requires no drafting so I'm going to try it on a wheel on Spinning Day, to see if can get the feel of the wheel...drawing in, pedaling, etc.
A bit of mystery fleece with locks, washed and flick combed by me. Also a gift from blogless Sandy.

Step 3: Practice, practice, practice. Thank you you tube for giving me something to watch while my TV shows are on hiatus. (links at bottom of post)
Getting easier, but still uneven.

Step 4: Lust for bigger and better tools. I am virtual shopping daily for a wheel, which is so out of my budget. I lust for more drop spindles. I definitely like a notch or 4. "A bee scout must behave! A bee scout must be brave!" Maybe next year:)

Video references: These helped me learn the difference between combing and carding and spinning woolen vs worsted. Megan has an excellent summary on this topic as well, in reference to spinning a wheel.

How to use mini comb, removing “short cuts and little nubbly bits”, and making a roving off the comb. She likes to spin from the butt end.

Fiber preparation for Hand Spinning part 2
. Drum carding, the fastest way to card a fleece and make batts.. Pick the fiber first to clean out vegetable matter. Hand held mini combs work best for finer shorter fibers. Combing will remove vegetable matter. Comb about 3 times, and create roving. Lashing on if the lock structure is ordered or disordered. 4 pitch English combs are much larger and are clamped to a workbench.

Wool combing on English combs, part 1-4
. Pulling out the locks (staples) from a washed fleece and lining them up. She sprays the locks before combing with a little water and oil (neat’s foot oil or olive oil) to make the combing easier. She warms the tines of her combs in hot water. She preps the fibers, combs it and creates roving and demos a diz in part 4. “stop when you get the little noily bits.

Basic fiber prep part 5. She demos finger picking. Fleece that is more disordered is better off being carded or finger picked. Flick carding and combing works better if the fleece has retained it’s lock structure. Combing opens up the fibers so they can be drafted for spinning. A dog brush works, too. It’s like brushing tangled hair. Sometimes you have to start at the tips and work in. There is more waste. She clumps several combed locks together and creates roving, then spins it on her drop spindle.

Carding wool, making rolags. For handspinners who want to master long-draw drafting for woolen spinning. Separate the locks, pick the locks by pulling sideways cleaning as you go. Card with hand cards. “The wires do not mesh ever!” Card 2-3 times and roll it up into a rolag.

Wool carding with Sue How to card wool for a good quality yarn.

A more concise video on Flick carding fiber prep. Minimal fiber prep of Romney fleece and drafting it into roving.

1 comment:

Opal said...

you're going to become a spinning wheel maven in no time at all. just you wait and see. mwahahahaha!