Thursday, 15 March 2018

Past Time to Start

I began the day in high hopes of getting lots done.  Well, it did not happen.  As soon as I picked up the needles to knit, my hand hurt. All I managed was one round. I think I slept stupid the night before. It did not mean the day was a waste.  I had tons of fun.

I have a large bag of Corriedale that is ready for carding.  It's about a half a fleece, plenty to do something significant, handspun.  My not being able to knit opened the day up to pull out my drum carder and see what I could do.

I have had the carder for almost 2 years.  I bought it from a fellow Raveller just before I moved from the west side.  It lived in my car for months sheltered in a box.  As soon as it could, it went to a safe place in the garage here and then, finally to a lovely cart to sit on and to work from. It has its own very proper spot in my study.  I meant to give it a whirl sometime this winter, and still it sat.  Carding seems like such a huge step. It intimidated me a bit.   I mean, it might...What?  It might what?  I have told myself that the worst it could do was need to be tossed, and I could then work with the other two big chunks of fleece I have.  I have been meaning to give the carding a serious go for months and I made time yesterday.

Before I started, I wanted to take a good picture of what it was in the before.

The fibre has a lovely crimp, right through the whole of it.  I watched a few videos to bolster me.  I particularly liked the video I linked to, because the shot shows the fibre going into the carder and he does it without any fanfare at all.  Such an unhurried take on carding, a simple put it in, like this and a way you go, approach. And I did.

And off the carder. Pretty great isn't it?

And a side shot.  It's the most impressive light airy pile of fibre.  I did that.  Well, the carder did that, but I was there.  

I ran these first batts through twice more just to make sure that the fibre was nicely even and that all of it was equally airy.  Next time I will run some through a third time, just to see if there is a difference in how light and airy these batts can be.

I stopped after this point.  I don't have any place to put a huge number of fluffy batts right now and I think I would rather card as I spin.  So three is enough to be going on with.

I would spin it all right now, but all my bobbins are filled.  The spares I had, are full of the Big Ball singles. I did do some spinning yesterday and I am now back to the last couple feet of blue roving. It would be so nice to get this done.  The plan is to N ply them, to maintain the lovely bright colours.  

I would dearly love to knit today, but as I did the last batt of fibre, I realized my thumb hurts.  It is a bit better this morning, but I am only going to do easy light things with my hands today.  So spinning or plying day.

The other thing I am going to do today, is pay attention to my loom.  That too has been sitting there waiting.  I have dish towels that need some doing and it is past time to start.

At the start of the winter, I set myself a goal of carding some before winter's end. When I was working in the spare room back in January, the Corriedale stayed out to be worked on.  And it has begun.  I may have left it to the bitter end of winter, but I did meet my goal to begin.  Well past time to start but it is a start. 

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