A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

March 2, 2007

Fiber Processing Central


Rose is washed.

I have started to experiment with different ways to prepare the fiber.

I flick carded.

I used a dog comb.

I used my drum carder.

I used my English combs.

It's no surprise that the combed fiber came out the nicest. But it also took the most time and created the most waste. The tips on this fleece are really crusty and compacted. The flick card hardly opened them up at all. Even the English combs didn't get them completely opened up. The best method so far has been opening the tips with the dog comb then combing with the English combs. Somehow this seems like "cheating" though I know if I'm getting a result I like then it doesn't matter. I suppose if I was better with the English combs and had lots and lots of time and lots and lots of patience I could work back and forth on the combs and get lovely fiber to spin. I'd also have to throw out half the fleece. With the dog combs I can really get in there and work on just the parts I want. I just comb the tips and the cut end of each lock once or twice. It really opens them up and knocks out a lot of the dirt and any bits of VM or short cuts. My shirt was filthy with dust after spending a few hours combing last night. There is very little VM in this fleece. It seems to have been pretty aggressively skirted. The drum carder, of course, just takes those bits of VM and mashes them into the fiber.

After several hours last night I still have barely made any progress with this fleece. This whole hand processing thing is slooooooooow. Maybe I'll bring the rest with me to spinning tonight and work on it then.