Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going batts

I've been trying to post since yesterday, and not getting it done. This afternoon when I had loads of time, Flickr was playing silly b's and not working properly. Finally sorted itself out early evening by which time I had supper to prepare and then a friend dropping in. Ah well, better late than never!

I have been having fun creating fibre blends. I had intended using the drum carder - an old Pat Green one - but being old, the drive band suddenly gave up the ghost, and I didn't have a substitute. So, hand cards is was. But this is in preparation for AH tomorrow, and we shall be using hand cards there, so it all worked out for the best, I suppose.

The exercise involved selecting from a range of fibres - wool tops, merino and tencel tops, camel, silk, bamboo, dyed mohair locks and angelina. And breaking all the rules of wool carding by overloading them, and then intentionally not completely homogenising the fibres. I really enjoyed doing it, and was very pleased indeed with my results.



A couple of the batts.


And another, after it has been carefully handled (not) by a kitten.

yarns with added Max

Here are the yarn samples, with added Max. I would like to think he is guarding the yarns from the kittens, but he ain't.

And here is a closer look (though I don't really recommend pulling up the larger views of these, they are all a bit on the blurry side.)

sample yarns from batts

My method was the same for all of them - I selected my base fibre/colour, added a related colour, then a bit of a contrast - the mohair worked wonderfully for that as well as adding textural interest - and then sprinkled on as little angelina as I could manage. I do know from experience that too much just sticks out in spikes and makes a very harsh yarn. I could have got away with more silk or bamboo than I used, but doing it on the hand cards restricted me a bit.

I carded each one just enough to avoid having great lumps of any one element, but sufficient to make - what - a coherent yarn. So you look at it and think red, or green or whatever, with shiny streaks. I really am not explaining this at all well - must be too late at night.

Added bonus today - finally an FO. Not handspun, but socks. (My own yarn next.)


Tofutsies. Ended up quite liking it.

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