I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!
One of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle this year was (another) Card It Up kit from Hello Purl. It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (finn, romney, targhee, angelina, bamboo, faux cashmere, milk fiber, silk noil and silk thrums) in red, oranges and yellow.
I added to that some red merino, yellow merino, yellow faux cashmere and yellow silk. I also had some orange angora but totally forgot about it until it was too late.
Short story is I split the fibers up into three equal piles and carded each pile. Two passes through the drum carder (my friend’s Fancy Kitten) and painted the fiber directly onto the big drum. However, this required a blood sacrifice.
And now I’ll just leave you with a bunch of eye candy photos!
I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!
If you recall, one of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle was a Card It Up kit from Hello Purl. It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (angelina, bfl/romney, BFL, carbonized bamboo, faux cashmere, shetland, silk noil and silk thrums) in teals, purples, grays and black.
I also bought another four ounces of merino combed top from my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) that they bought from Ohio Valley Fiber. Here’s all the fiber, which I fluffed up/open with my hands since some of it was compacted.
Some searching on Ravelry told me the drum carder would likely only hold two ounces, or at least, after that it got challenging. I divided each of the fiber types into fourths so each two ounce batt would have the same fiber/color composition. FYI – if you have small amounts of silk, or any other fiber, you likely will need a scale that is more precise than a kitchen scale.
Finally it was time to start carding. I started with the merino top, pulling is apart and laying it down first as a base (so it would be, in theory, easier to get off). Then I randomly alternated between the other fibers in small bits, trying to get a variety of color and textures in each “layer.” I painted everything, including the merino, directly onto the drum since the licker in and I don’t get along. Even with being painted on the licker in still wanted to eat the angelina so every time I painted the angelina on I put something over it before turning the drum. Same with the silk noil. After a bit over an hour of painting it was ready to come off.
Well, sort of. It still tried to stick a bit. But, I pulled it off slowly and finally got it. I’m happy with how it came out and can’t wait to spin it up!
After two posts of providing suggestions on attending a fiber festival I’m ready to put them to work. As I mentioned, I went to The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana (at the Putnam County Fairgrounds) over the weekend. Great shopping and awesome classes. And a three day old Shetland lamb.
I took two classes – one Friday morning (with my friend Rachel) and another Saturday afternoon (with my friend Patty). The Friday class was with Melissa of Hello Purl on fiber blending. We went through blending different fibers on a drum carder, blending board and a hackle and then spent the remainder of the time playing with the tools. I learned a lot of tips for the drum carder and there were a lot of different fibers to play with (wool, angelina, faux cashmere, silk thrums, silk noil, bamboo and more). The Saturday class was on color blending and we made a color wheel out of dyed fibers. Then we identified the colors in the pictures we brought and discussed how to represent them in our fiber. I had two photos and plan to create batts based on both. The following are my sample class batts.
My shopping list included black alpaca, merino or cormo fiber, undyed silk top, Fiber Optic *anything* and any soaps/lotions/jewelry. I stayed within my budget and found most of what I was looking for.
So here’s what I got:
- Three alpaca fleeces – a black one and two small ones (gray and fawn)
- The remainder of a small Cormo/Border fleece. Only a pound and a half – more for Patty and I to play with and figure out the best way to get clean.
- Some Cormo roving for blending and 4oz of cormo/angora roving to go with 4oz I already have.
- Natural alpaca roving, undyed merino, purple merino and black merino all from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers.
- 4oz of anogra to practice blending with the alpaca.
- Two bars of natural soap.
- A Card It Up kit from Hello Purl. Plenty of different fibers in coordinating colors.
- Flickr brush for opening tips, especially on suri alpaca.
- Small amounts of bamboo, angelina and silk for blending on the drum carder.
- A Fiber Optic paintbox gradient and a skein of black for a Spectra shawl.
- Three skeins of Fiber Optic Foot Notes for a Color Affection
Everything is entered in Ravelry, put away with the rest of the stash and ready to be used. The fleeces are hanging out in the garage for a while until I can get them washed. I had a great time both days and am glad I took both classes. Next fiber event (maybe) is Hoosier Hills in early June!
I talked a couple posts ago about playing on my friend Patty’s Fancy Kitty drum carder. The good news is by the time I got to the second sample it went better. I enjoy preparing fiber in general and playing just for the sake of playing is especially fun. As a recap, the drum carder is a Fancy Kitty with a fine or extra fine cloth, I think.
This sample came like the picture below. Four separate colors in four separate fibers. The blue is silk noil, the orange faux cashmere, the pink sparkle/angelina/firestar and the BFL purple. It’s from Spin Culture on Etsy. Here they are before their trip through the carder. I did pull and tease them apart a bit first.
I tried briefly to feed in the fibers normally but as expected the silk got stuck on the licker in (the little drum). Based on my experience with the prior locks (see part 1) I applied the fiber, silk noil and the other fibers, directly to the big drum. I also only applied it to half of the drum (width wise).
After removing the fiber from the drum, I ran it through one more time. The end result was a fluffy, textured batt. I was happy with how the colors and fibers blended in the end (the picture at the top).
Have you ever tried drum carding? What would you card if you had a carder?