If you like playing with animal and vegetable fibres, chances are, you love what a drum carder can do. With its ability to blend and align all that fun fluff you have in your stash, it’s any fibre artist’s must-have.
This post is about a little fun I had a few months ago making a gorgeous batt in shades of blue. It’s quite the lovely squishy thing and I haven’t had the courage to do anything with it yet because I’m afraid my spinning skills won’t do it justice. You’ve heard this a thousand times before, right?
I wanted to make a batt out of the beautiful blue fibres I had in my stash, after I got so inspired by a lesson in indigo dyeing I took with Ashley and Susan, a lovely couple in Hitchin who are fascinated by natural dyes and are the best at sharing that. (If you’re interested in contacting them for more information, you can email Susan via email or go to Ashley’s dyeing Facebook page.) I will write about the indigo dyeing experience sometime soon, by the way.
So, back to the carding fun. I had quite a few different indigo dyed fibres, and some others that would just look great together, so I went about mixing them up. Starting at the far left, and moving clockwise: indigo dyed milk protein, sari silk waste, white BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester), commercial merino tops in two shades of blue, indigo dyed soya tops, oatmeal-coloured BFL, and indigo dyed cotton. I also had some indigo dyed merino that’ll show up in the next photo, on the drum carder.
Please excuse the poor light in the photos and the messiness.
The merino was dyed irregularly on purpose, and we got quite the nice range of depths of shade.
The commercially dyed merinos on top and the soya on the bottom.
Silk waste and, I believe, the milk protein.
Here I was feeding the fibres onto the drum carder in no particular order, just taking care to sandwich the short fibres like cotton between layers of longer-stapled fibres (otherwise the shorter ones would end up caught in the smaller drum, called the licker-in).
The photo bellow doesn’t quite show it, but the oatmeal BFL on the drum carder complemented the blues really nicely and just reminded me of the beach somehow.
Once I was done it was time to take the batt off the drum carder and fold it nicely.
(The batt on the left was also carded by me, and I’m also having a hard time mustering the courage to spin it.)
So there you have it, my little drum carding fun. Do you have a drum carder, or would like to? Tell me all about it.