Saturday, December 30, 2006

Waiting for the drum carder

I hoped it would come today. Yes, it is Saturday; but I still hoped the UPS guy would venture out my way and bring me my new drum carder.

But it's all good.

I had a good talk with Eleanor and she has been giving me wonderful hints on how to get things to work better with my spinning.

First she sent me upstairs to find that old dog comb and with it I teased out some of Kate's washed fleece and got this.

Here is the before shot.

Here is both side by side (or one over the other in the photo).

Such a difference! I'm looking forward to spinning more of this now. What do you think? It may not even need a carding.

There was a lot of waste. The second cuts came out and a whole bunch of the vm and broken tips. Eleanor suggested I put it outside for the birds. I'm thinking it's a little early in the season for nest building but if I put it in the garden, if the birds don't want it it will just turn into dirt eventually anyway. In any case, I've put a brown paper bag up there in my fiber room and am collecting the yucky bits to toss outside later.

Then when I was lamenting the fact that the drum carder hadn't come today (because I wanted to go ahead and get started carding some of the alpaca with this nicely combed Kate wool), Eleanor suggested that I spin the alpaca separately and ply the two together like I had for my mother's hat. My sister, Kiki, who lives in Colorado, wants a duplicate hat since she saw mom's.

I whined to her that she had apparently forgotten that I had already tried to spin the alpaca on her and it kept breaking and just seemed beyond my current skill level. She indicated that I should come closer and she showed me how she had let the drive belt slip down to the smaller diameter and had moved the tension forward a bit so the uptake was gentler. The smaller diameter, she explained, was the next smaller ratio and would allow for more twists per inch (for the smoother fiber) and the lighter tension would not as likely pull the singles apart.

I agreed to give it a try and sure enough, it worked just fine. The singles are actually pretty over twisted but she assures me that this is okay because during the plying, much of the twist will come out again.

I will take pictures when I have a bobbin full.

She whispered to me that she would like to try some of that merino upstairs but hasn't decided what color she fancies just now.

I'm very much enjoying Eleanor's company.

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