Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wild Carder: First Attempt

After an inspirational spinning class at North County Fiber Fair a couple of years ago, I bought an Ashford Wild Carder. I'm embarrassed to say that this week was the first time I've used it. Not being very mechanically adept, I think I was afraid to try it. What prompted the first attempt? Well, seeing the beautiful art batts on Etsy was a motivation. Here are some samples, with Etsy shop names listed below:

Watching several drum carding videos on YouTube also helped build confidence.

To prepare for carding, I needed color inspiration. It's so easy to use the same tried and true color combinations over and over. I decided to look at thrift shop neckties and select one for the color scheme.

The tie took on a life of it's own in this project. First, wanting silk thrums in the scheme colors, I tried putting the tie in a heavy duty paper shredder. Not a good idea. The tie wrapped around the cutting teeth, and my husband ended up taking the shredder apart to repair it.

Then I tried manually cutting the tie into strips to feed into the carder. Maybe I'm not wild enough for the Wild Carder- the results didn't appeal to me, and the silk strips ended up in the trash.

It was a good color challenge to try to dye batches of wool to match the tie. Some were more successful than others. It's freeing to know that yarn thrums, mohair curls, and other bits of fiber can be added to tweak color.

The virgin voyage of the drum carder was too exciting an event not to share! My friend Rose came over with some of her fiber stash. We ordered pizza and started the carding venture. In short, it was so much fun!! The Wild Carder worked wonderfully, and the evening sped by as we played.

And the result? I'm very happy. The Wild Carder's long teeth produced light, lofty batts, ready to spin. The goal of matching the tie's colors was reached pretty well.

This week I'll be shopping for another tie!

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