Carding & Blending

jenjoycedesign© rolags

I’ve been lured into somewhat of a trend. The trend is carding & blending boards!  Such a beautiful tool are the ones purchased by Ashford, etc, and I was so excited to buy one, but I resisted knowing that I was perfectly able to make my own. So with Jeff’s help, I did…

005I bought  24″ of  very expensive 12″ carding cloth, but still less expensive than a new 12×12″ board.  We cut some plywood to size, and after a quick glue & nailing down the carding cloth, added a footing to the head, and a handle, and ended up with double the size of the regular blending boards available. Not bad!  I then spent hours practicing on some old weedy raw fleece I had hidden away, found my old carders, and had a go with some alpaca.

jenjoycedesign© carding alpaca

Mixing first by hand, then carding three times on the board,

it eventually looked like this…

jenjoycedesign© carding alpaca 5

Then I drew the 3x carded alpaca back on to the board, caught the tips in between two dowels, then began to pull out, roll, pull out & drafted it rolling into rolags…

jenjoycedesign© making rolags

Eventually I got through all 240 grams of it and made finally into some nifty rolags ready to spin, after a heck of a lot of work …
053
Honestly folks, do you have any idea how much work goes into making a simple 100g ball of yarn from raw fleece?   I’m sure there are some of you out there who do.

Which brings me back to the carding & blending board. I did say that it is a bit of a trend, I mean, just look at the process of making art rolags…

The video shows really what the blending board is all about.  I was actually using it in my above photos as a carding board for raw fleece, now I think I’ll go clean up the weeds and fluff that has spread all about my loft, because I am actually waiting for some combed top roving to show up in the mail.

Its such a strange modern era.  I feel that I have shifted from wanting to create from the roughest and unrefined of raw materials ~~ my old self ~~ into craving the ease of beautiful prepared combed top roving to spin from, or with which to create those beautiful blend rolags ~~ my new self.  I think I have worked something through here, and am considering offering to the wild all that old coarse wool from my earlier spinning days, and face a future of pleasure spinning clean exotic selection of fibers, as there is just so much available now.  I have definitely reaffirmed my respect for those who spin from animal-to-yarn, I just can’t seem to be one to run with the flock anymore, but that is okay.

I do feel the urge to spin yarn again, after a long hiatus.  I am very excited to come back and show off some really artful blended rolags from my plus size blending board, as well as the yarn spun from them!

6 thoughts on “Carding & Blending

    • Thanks Sorcha! I am though, really going to get all those old bags out, thinking, I could offer it to the wildlife? I could wander in the woods pulling off little bits of old roving from Hazel…. lol… the birds, mice, and rats would love the offerings I’m sure. Would you like any for your critters? A nesting basket…for the birds!

  1. What a lot of work you did, but the rolags you made look great. Thank you for the video showing the very arty rolags.

    • Wendy, thank you. You won’t believe how much time I spent watching many different blending videos while I was knitting up my last Fishwives! 🙂 I’ve seen them all, and am well informed. I am clearing out the old dirty fleeces and beginning anew!

  2. To both your new self and the old one, Jen: keep both ways to use fleece open! Do as you please. Right now, let the news in and excel in beautifully prepared fibres!!!!

    • You are right Yvonne! I shall keep the old fleece tucked away, only further back in the recesses. 😉 I am looking forward to new fresh spinning experience, and creating a yarn I can knit into something special. Thank you for your warm advice, always so wise. xx

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