Got Fluff?

I wish I had better news to tell you folks about the process last night…

Just kidding! 🙂 I think it actually went okay.

I really didn’t know when I took them out of the water if I had felted them or not because they were SO puffed up. They looked angry! Well, they did compared to what they looked like when I first put them in the bags. But, I kept playing with a lock of wool while it was drying (I know, I know) and the hairs were separating…so that’s good, right?

I do think that I could’ve soaked them a fourth time. Look at these tips.

They’re still a little dirty looking. Well, these were the dirtiest bunch. But, I found a little comb to use that nobody here uses and it got that right out. Still, I think I may have to soak one bag at a time if I’m going to use those buckets in the future.

But here it is all combed out.

After I combed it, as scared as I was, I wanted to card it, of course. So, I got my nerves together and broke out my new student carders. And all of that fluff up there turned into this.

Pretty neat trick, huh? Well, I can’t say it came naturally. I used too much in the beginning. But I quickly learned that my carders were meant for smaller batches. So, once I figured out how to keep it at a manageable amount of wool, the rolags started looking better. At the end, I went back to do the first two over and I ended up with some passable looking rolags, I think.

But the real test was would it spin into anything….I took out my African Padauk Tiny Turkish by Enid Ashcroft for a quick spin.

Looks like we have a winner!

Well, there’s tons more to wash and card at this point, but I got a date with the hubby in a few and since he’s supporting my spinning habit at present, I’m going to be there with bells on. 😉

Comments

  1. daisiejane says:

    Well – wow! That fleece certainly didn’t look like it would become so soft and wooly and spin so fine! You have magic hands!

  2. It looks SO beautiful …. I NEVER-EVER had the patience to wash this wool, then card it and THEN being able to spin a thread … never. I have really, really high respect for you. It’s awesome! Are you going to die the threads? Or are you leaving them white?

    Btw … I am thinking about TRYING to spin … You totally got me, finally. :mrgreen:

    • Thank you! I am thinking this is such a small bit of it. I want to leave it white to document the first time I carded wool. But I may dye the rest of it….

      Spinning is wonderful, once you get the hang of it! Give it a try!

  3. My, My, what a transformation! Makes you want to dive in. As much as I love reading your stories, I’m glad that you took a break and went on a date with the hubs. 🙂

  4. Love it! Great job!

    • Thanks! I think it came out okay. I’d love for there to be less nepps. But at this point, I don’t have anything to compare it to….There’s some yarn that came out of it, so it worked out okay.

      • If you ever get a chance, go to a “Sheep to Shawl” event (sometimes “Sheep to Sweater”). They are amazing. This event is done in teams. 1. The sheep is shorn, 2. The spinners take the raw wool as it’s shorn straight from the sheep. There is certain number of twists/inch required. 3. Knitters take the spun wool and start knitting either a shawl or sweater and have to knit to a certain stitches/inch and rows/4″. Keep in mind, the wool is all raw, no washing! They are playing “beat-the-clock”. The winning team is the one who completes the task first. Amazing to watch. There is a team in my spinning class that does this. They just had an event.

  5. Making rolags is pretty fun, right?? 😀 I’ve hand carded some Polwarth that I accidentally felted during the dye process and instead of rolling them from tip to end to make rolags, I rolled the sides and drafted the ends to make some nifty strips of roving… since when I spin more bulky yarns with rolags they aren’t as smooth as I like.

    • Yes!! I really did enjoy it….AM enjoying it. I still have tons more to go! I do like learning new things and I am glad that I tried this. It looks like you were still able to make something of the felted wool too. So, I would have been okay in the end! That’s great to know!

      I had read that spinning with carded rolags doesn’t produce as consistent a yarn as spinning with top. I found that to be true, lol! The yarn I spun from this had some inconsistencies (some I’m sure due to being a beginner carder and some because of the prep). But I got a lot of little bits of fluff that came out of the carded top and wouldn’t really play well with the rest of it. I carded that with some other fiber I had and am spinning it into a somewhat textured sample 🙂 . Otherwise, I would’ve wasted A LOT of fiber though.

      • Yeah, it wasn’t too bad, just the outside was a bit felted so I was able to save it. It’s actually spinning up really nicely! Pulling the carded fibers into roving is sooo much smoother than rolling into rolags, for me.

  6. Nice job! It looks like it’s turning out fine.

  7. That looks like a fun and challanging task! So pure and new. How neat to be able to spin your own yarn.

    • I still think the spinning is the funnest part, lol! That DID NOT change, lol! But I’m glad I know I can wash it and card it if need be. It’s kind of nice to see the process from almost the beginning to the end. I draw the line at actually raising the sheep, lol!

  8. That fluffed-up wool is so beautiful, but the spun yarn is even more so in a different way. I’m not about to start trying to do this – just don’t have time in my life – but I’d really love to be able to.

    • Time!! Let’s not get started on that, lol! But it’s pretty fun. And I think you’re right. Each piece of this puzzle is nice in a different way. But I like that finished yarn! 🙂

  9. Well done! and very brave!!!! Where did you learn to do this – spinning, carding, etc.?

    • I started learning to spin on a drop spindle last year. It was really fun and a way to slow things down for me in my life…which I desperately needed at that time. I read books and watched videos and basically practiced A LOT. Eventually, it all clicked and I was making yarn. The desire to learn some fiber prep has been there, but I only just started acting on it. I’m learning by watching videos and testing things out for myself. It helps that my hair actually shares a lot of the qualities of sheep hair, lol!

      • Thank you!!! My hair does too – and moreso as I age!! I just met a knitter/spinner who told me the same thing – watching videos and reading books. I have a drop spindle I bought in “Wales” at Epcot Center in Disney about 30 years ago. I’m going to dig it out RIGHT NOW!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!!

  10. Yay, a date! 😀 And I love how lofty, floofy and inviting your washed and carded fiber looks! Excellent, as usual, Stacey. 🙂

  11. I’ve always been amazed at the difference in weight of wool before and after washing! 🙂

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