|A wool-comb and a drum-carder|
My relationship with my drum-carder was vexed at the start and I suspect many hand-spinners out there felt the same.
The contraption was SO hellishly expensive that you felt you should treat it with such reverence....light candles in front of it.....arrange flowers and pray. After all, the drum-carder signalled you had "arrived" in the world of hand-spinning. It meant you were now beyond the dependencies of commercially carded wool.
I was devoted to collecting equipment too but then the changes in my life meant I had to actually start proving myself as well.
|Alpaca clip broken into 50gm plus wastage amounts (20gm) all lined up.|
|Allow enough fibre to lightly cover both drums of the carder.|
That meant, you had to know how your equipment worked.
It was THAT simple.
It meant no longer being scared of the gear....get it out of the cupboard and become the best fibre-blender you can!...just do it!
|Wool-combs are ideal as drum cleaners and short-fibre collectors.|
I also learnt about combing.
I then knew what a "combed top" was.
Her presentation on colour-blending is the best I have found yet.
And then and there, with one book, I could demonstrate to other spinners how to make good use of their drum-carders. Those fear-full spikey bits of kit that went rusty if you didn't use them taking up space in the attic.
Basically, you need other bits of equipment to make them really efficient, so may I introduce wool-combs please.
|With a firm downward motion all the scrappy short fibres from the small drum can be|
collected tidily on the tines of a wool-comb AND the drum is cleaned of fibres as you do so.
What no-one EVER told me when I bought my first one was...
YOU CAN SCRAPE FIBRE DIRECTLY OFF THE TEETH OF YOUR DRUM-CARDER WITH A WOOL-COMB
IF YOU ARE BLENDING COLOURS YOU CAN PLACE THE FIBRE IN LAYERS OF COLOUR DIRECTLY ONTO YOUR DRUM-CARDER AND ROLL IT THROUGH A FEW TIMES TO GENTLY MIX THEM YET THE COLOURS WILL STAY SEPARATE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO CREATE A WORKABLE BATT TO SPIN FROM
This was as if the Angel Gabriel himself had come down and announced world peace.
|Ready to lift a drum of carded alpaca off the main drum.|
(deep breath)......by using maths you work % blends.
This machine suddenly held the future of my spinning in its very teeth.
|A twice-passed batt now ready to be lifted off the drum.|
I mixed my equipment up and stopped relying on the suppliers' guides...I WAS NOW IN CONTROL...
|In a similar method with hair-tongs, fibre is held between two smooth|
wooden surfaces and wound up pulling the fibre off the drum.
|A batt being wound into a rolag off a drum-carder.|
|Rolag being made.|
|Rolag as candy-floss.|
|Rolag removed from wooden slats and ready for spinning as a supported|
|All the extra fibres left behind from both drums can be added|
for spinning if they are workable. This is 50gm of prepared alpaca.
|This is two lots of 50gm prepared alpaca rolags and spare bits from|
cleaning the drums. This will make a 100gm skein. This was two
Tin Shed Yarns