Going Batty

Having a drum carder around the house really comes in handy!

It’s tough being a crafter.  You have all these great ideas that wind up on your living room floor.  It winds up getting in everyone’s way and yours too!

I’ve been trying to finish off the projects on my spinning wheels, in my knitting bag and my closet at the same time.  It’s a fruitless endeavor, I know.  But someone’s got to do it.  I think part of me feels really good to clean house and get a fresh start, you know? Besides, how else will I get to fit more fluff for more projects? :)

Remember these locks?  Well, when I put them in my closet, I put them in the front so that I wouldn’t forget them.  But, they have been hanging out there ever since, looking for me to play with them again for the longest.  So, I finally did.

I love making batts! For those that aren’t spinners, a very generalized definition of a batt is the sheet of organized fluff that comes off a drum carder after it has been combed into submission for spinning.  In most cases, it doesn’t get every strand parallel.  In fact, carding is not really designed to make the fibers parallel. But it does arrange them in such a way where the fibers are better able to slip past each other for easier spinning.  It also introduces more air into the preparation so you get a nice, fluffy sheet of yarn to spin with (well, unless it’s greasy, but it’s still spinnable).  As you can see, I put a few colors together to see what I would get.  I think I’m going to watch that Craftsy video I bought to find out how to card more effectively.  But, I’ve been using this carder since Natalie (whom I will adore for the rest of my natural life) sent it home with me and it has been pretty easy to at least get started.  Nice!

Now that I’ve got the color fix out of the way…you do remember the other batt I was working on?  The first walnut dye on the Bug?

It had been sitting upstairs on my craft table since the last post, actually.  I know, I know.  The only excuse I can give is it’s really difficult to sustain my attention with a monochromatic spin that is also neutral.  I love it when it’s done.  It’s just the getting there! Well, I confronted my inner child and put my foot down.  And I finally got that spin out of the way a couple days ago.  In fact, I was so stern with me, I finished another batt I had started as well.  That’s called a twofer. ;)

The second walnut dye had been sitting downstairs waiting to jump on the Joy since the spin-in.  It took me a bit to get that organized into something spinnable.  Those are rolags on the top (got to practice my hand carding sometime).  But underneath that is a nice, bushy batt all ready to go.

So, I had the Joy downstairs and the Bug upstairs, full of singles.

At some point, I got the great idea to combine these two and get both of these monsters of neutrality out of the way once and for all.  And this is what I got.

 

I made what I would consider to be a cabled yarn out of them.

Both yarns were chain plied in one direction and then spun together in the opposite direction.

This yarn is super thick! It’s also heavier than yarns I usually spin.  And since it’s made with fiber I got from the mill, I think I’m going to see if Laurel will take it to sell in the gift shop at the mill.  I mean, really…I do like the look of it.  But, what am I going to do with all that brown?  LOL!

So now, the spinning wheels are cleaned.  The carders are all cleared up for the next load.  The Joy has left the family room.  There’s no stray fluff on my craft room floor…today.  The craft closet has less fluff guilting me for wanting more.

Now to get to that knitting bag…

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I love the way the two toned yarn turned out! It looks fantastic! great Idea!

    • Thank you! I thought of it as I was finishing up the lighter one, I believe. I think my motivation was if I could get some contrast in the final yarn, it would make me want to spin these up faster! :)

  2. Gorgeous fibers, and that brown stripey yarn is just awesome (but I like the neutrals.) I am super jealous of the drum carder action. Congrats on getting stuff off the wheel and making room for more. Best of luck on the knitting!

    • Thanks! I wear mostly neutrals, so I should probably knit with them? I just gravitate to colored yarns more. I think the contrast makes me feel like it has more color now than either did by itself. Lol! Just couldn’t let it be this time. Thanks for the well wishes too. I need them! My dpns are too short for my project. I am only two repeats into the lace pattern before figuring that out. Sigh.

  3. The 2-tone is pretty! I like the sunshiney colors of the first batt, too. Do you finish your yarn in any particular way?

    • I don’t think I do, lol. But I will tell you what I do just to share. I usually put the skein in some water with some eucalan. I sometimes use cool, sometimes warm, sometimes hot water (I haven’t seen a difference in the yarns I have spun). After it soaks a bit (sometimes overnight if I forget lol), I drain and soak it again, this time in plain water, the same temp as when I dump the soap out. So, if I dump it after it has gone cold, I fill it back up with cold water. After it is done soaking, I roll it in a towel and step on it for a minute. Then, I unroll it and take it out. I thwack it if I want it to swell a little (it also tends to even things out further). And then, I hang it up to dry on my camera tripod or a hanger in the closet. That’s it. But I think that is actually the normal way to finish a yarn.

  4. I so love what is on your spindle. The colors are so beautiful with the wood. I always find myself choosing a spindle that “goes with” my fiber rather than choosing by whorl weight like I should be!

  5. Oh yum! I really love the colors, especially the fiber on your spindle :)

    • Thank you, Tina! I have never made a yarn that was a juicy red before, so I figure, now is my chance! Maybe. We’ll see if I have enough…well, this is more of a ruddy reddish brown, with juicy reds in it, lol!

  6. Q – Beautiful marled yarn!

    • Thanks, Ladies! It’s as thick as all get out! Have no clue what that would be used for. A rug? I have been wanting to make a fat/thick yarn just to get it out of my system. But now, I don’t even know what I would use it for, lol!

  7. Wow! Your yarns are so beautiful. I have never spun, and hadn’t considered it before, but the more I see of your work it makes me start to consider it.

    • I hope you try it! It’s really a lot of fun! And it doesn’t take long to learn at all. I was just looking at the progress of a fellow blogger tonight. Pinko Knitter of All Kinds of Knitting. She started about three months ago, I think. She looks like she has been spinning for years! And my other blog (which is mainly a photo blog where I also reblog others) has an archive where you can see my progress from when I started spinning slubby yarns back in July 2011 up until now. I keep it there so others can see that it may not come together overnight, but it does come together with practice. All in all, in a month’s time, you could be spinning like nobody’s business. :) Come on over to the dark side, lol.

      http://allkindsofknitting.wordpress.com
      http://weekendknitter.com/archive/2011/7

  8. I. love.these.colours.

    The first one reminds me a lot of the trees here in autumn – and apples! And chestnuts! Ohhh, it’s so beautiful! (at first, I really thought ›I’d love to bury my face in this!‹. But I won’t write that. That’s dorky. :mrgreen: )

    I love how your chestnut wool turned out – especially with the white! So beaufitul …. Like chocolate and cream combined. Or black coffee and creme.

    Do you get that relieving feeling as well, you know, when you have finished a couple of WIPs and are mentally free for new stuff? Because I sometimes start to feel a bit stressed out if I start too much at the same time. Just curious. ;)
    Have a great day! :D

    • That’s it, exactly! I feel like a burden is lifted-even if it is self-inflicted, lol! I also like the feeling of having something I can look at and call done at the end of the day. When you can have loose ends in other areas of life, it helps to have an accomplishment in another, however small.

      Thanks for the compliments on the yarn! Those were beautiful comparisons.

  9. you are inspiring me to learn to spin. I have resisted it fr many years, because all I could think is that it is ONE MORE THING to invest in, to find time and space for… a woman I know says once I start, I will never go back to buying done yarn, which also is scary to me. You mean I won’;t be able to run and get one more skein? But to be able to blend my own fibers and colors? Yikes. Heaven. I know what will be next – dying. My craft room won’t be big enough nor my week long enough.

    Yet still I drool over your blog…

    • It’s so funny! But it’s so true in a lot of ways! I can’t really remember the last time I bought yarn. I don’t think I never will again…I just think it is fewer and further in between. BUT, the yarn stash gets replaced with a fiber stash that is just as much an addiction as hoarding yarn, lol! Really, pocket-wise, it really is no difference. It’s just more options! Who doesn’t like that, right? :) And I think you are right about toying with dyeing afterward. I suppose it is all a natural extension of having greater control and even just playing, really. As long as it stays fun though, what could it hurt to learn one more craft? ;) Besides, the extra time you spend spinning before knitting is just double the overall crafting time. You’re still winning! Lol!

      • you know, I hadn’t thought of it like that – same money spent, twice or three times the enjoyment. that might be the final push I need….

  10. caityrosey says:

    I may get a chance to make bats sooner than I ever thought. A friend’s parents have Rambouillet sheep and I’ve got a chance at a fleece, or even multiple. Hard to pass up an opportunity like that.

    And I’m sure someone will snap up that neutral cabled yarn. I hear that sort of thing is sometimes good for weaving, but perhaps I misremember.

    • That’s awesome!! I have never ordered a fleece…But I have cleaned a decent amount to see what that would be like. It’s a good amount of work to wash and prep to spin. But it’s so good to know how to do it and that you can. It’s the difference I suppose between eating store bought tomatoes or homegrown tomatoes. It’s worth it, when you have the time.

      All I can say is it’s thick! I hope someone there can use it. I can’t think of anything I would use it for…cushy coasters? I keep thinking. I get nothing, lol.

      • caityrosey says:

        The bats are thick, you say?

        Well, I’ve always wanted to skate around the house in soap bubbles like Pippi Longstocking. I bet bats would be useful strapped to my feet.

  11. Wow, that looks beautiful; love the color combo.

  12. grayseasaylor says:

    Great work, er um, I mean play, Stacey:) I really like your experiments. I plied some white and brown fiber together and think it is a neat combination. I will be interested to see what it looks like when you knit it up. xx from Gracie

    • Thanks, Gracie! I am thinking that I may actually give this to the mill though. If they want it. They sell handspun made from the wool from their sheep. This handspun is slightly adulterated, lol! The lighter wool was from an etsy seller.

  13. Sweet addiction isn’t it? LOL….for I go through the same sequence of events and problem solve the same way in regards to fiber, my surroundings, my stash, my knitting, my creative ideas, and on-and-on, etc. There just is not enough time in the day. I blame it all on a few of my fiber friends and I blame my drum carder most of all for helping me be such a creative artist and driving me to sleepless nights. As I climb the stairs for the last time in the evening, I often find myself side tracked to my craft room, and the drum carder sweetly calling…use me! Create just one more batt…use me. I empathize deeply with you and if I were asked to help you curve your endless need to create with fiber…I definitely am sorry to say, that I could only encourage you to share more of your creative ideas….meaning card on Lady! I am as hopeless as thee.

    • I loved reading this! It gave me s little chuckle becayse my crafts room is on the way to the bedroom too, lol! It’s too difficult to go to bed when you’re dealing with that level of temptation.

  14. It’s tough being a crafter.  You have all these great ideas that wind up on your living room floor.  It winds up getting in everyone’s way and yours too!
    So true! My favorite is the brown and white yarn.

  15. You have created such a beautiful yarn. I personally cannot get enough of brown; it’s such a beautiful neutral color. Love, love!

Trackbacks

  1. [...]  Very crucial step in adding yet something else to a bulging fiber habit.  Remember these (specimen one and specimen [...]

  2. […] was from a textured batt I made last year. I barely remembered it either, lol! But, I didn’t have anything on my mind […]

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