Now that I’ve made a start on sorting my fibre/knitting stuff, my Minty drum carder has its own table and I have been doing much more carding. Having my carder ready to go has meant that I’m doing bits and pieces here and there, rather than making it a major operation to get it out and find space for it.
Looking at the stats for my blog, I can tell that lots of people visit looking for info on drum carders, so here’s a write up with lots of pictures to show some of what you can get up to…
Last February I bought a fibre pack from the Fibreholics (http://www.thefibreholics.co.uk/) – basically you get several 20g samples from a number of different fibre dyers/suppliers. The theme at the time was Valentine’s Day so there was plenty of pink in the mix – I bought a 200g pack so had ten different samples to play with. I had started making (but somehow still not quite finished…) a bag, but still had around 60g of various fibres left. I added in some white shetland and a few other bits and pieces to make it go a bit further, ending up with around 100g:
I split the 100g into two fairly evenly coloured lots and fed it onto the carder. Given that the fibres were already split into small sections, I just randomly selected them and fed them in, trying to spread the colours equally over the drum and add the white in every so often.
In the end the drum and resulting batt were fairly stripey:
I rolled the batt lengthways into a long sausage and then drafted it once into an even longer sausage. Just for good measure, I then drafted it one more time until I had a long continuous length of fibre – the stripes were still pretty visible:
I did start spinning this, aiming for a soft DK/Aran-ish weight single. I didn’t like the result! Too stripey for my taste, and I felt that it would knit up into blobby variagated patches which is not what I was aiming for.
So, back to the carder… I ran it through again (much easier a second time) and got a more heathery sort of blend:
I removed the batt and tore it lengthwise into half a dozen strips, then drafted each one a bit, just to remove any stray clumps/bumps. This looked much more promising:
The batts turned into these singles:
Which hopefully will become a hat.