Batts and Roving

Batts and Roving

The last time I did a World of Wool order, I got some Botany Lap Waste. If you’ve not heard of this it’s basically a huge bin they have at WoW, where they put the left over tops from the ends of carding runs, and when you order some they grab 500g out of the bin and you get what you’re given, but it is cheaper than Merino or blends and sometimes you get a lot of the luxury fibre like yak, alpaca etc. This time it seemed I got the ends of someone’s bizarre order of various greys, including what looked like natural grey Merino blended with trilobal nylon (why?!) I don’t know why they can’t have a ‘neutrals’ choice for browns, greys etc. The rest of my bag was a kind of dyed steel grey Merino,  some green Merino which looked like it was their Gooseberry shade, and some pinky pale lilac I didn’t recognise. I carded them all up into batts then put them through again with other Merino to make some blends. I put the lilac through with various shades of purple and a few blues. Then I used a diz (a brass picture hook with 3 holes) to make roving:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made another batt with the same colours, but added some orange, pinks, yellow, red, and some brighter blues:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is what the roving looks like unwound:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI put the gooseberry batt through with some green shades and light/bright blues. I meant to make roving, but forgot, so I might put it through the carder again. One side:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI put half and half gooseberry and grey through the carder, and made roving:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was putting the batts and blends away in my Workshops Supplies tubs, I discovered some other odds and ends from when I did MakeFest last year. I might blend some of these greens with half the gooseberry batt I forgot to card:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found some gorgeous (even if I do say so myself!) texturey batts I’d forgoten I’d made too. I might have to save these for when I get a spinning wheel to make some texturey yarn!:


22 thoughts on “Batts and Roving

    1. Thanks Felicity 🙂
      Ha, I wish it was possible to do it for a living! I’d definitely recommend a carder to anyone, it’d pay for itself in no time really, and it’s worth it just for the soothing feeling it gives you.

  1. Gorgeous blends – all of them. The gooseberry and grey is surprisingly good isn’t it?

    It would be fantastic to do it for a living!

    1. Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      Yeah, I didn’t know what to expect really (you’d think I would after all Ruth’s taught us about colour!)

  2. Wow, so beautiful. Questions on ordering from UK to USA. What are the import charges if you know? Was thinking about ordering but don’t wan’t to be surprised with the extra charges of import tax.

  3. Great color mixes, Zed. I think you learn more about color doing this kind of thing than reading about what I rant on and on about. 🙂

    1. Ha ha 🙂
      Thanks, Ruth. I was surprised how much the grey/green looked like a yellow and black blend I made once.

  4. Lovely colours, Zed! I’m quite envious of your mad dizzing skills.

    (And is it horrible of me to say I’ve made blends of gray merino with trilobal nylon? :p)

    1. Thanks, Leonor 🙂
      My dizzing was better this time with a larger hole to pull through, but it’s thanks to Ann and her video that I even tried it. I’ll ignore that last comment 😉

  5. Drooling over the greens and mauve colours. Great sense of colour. So what you going to do with the batts?

    1. Thanks a lot 🙂
      I think they’ll go in my Workshop tubs, I do have some left to make some blends for me though.

  6. Love how you have combined these colours Zed. I don’t own a carder but I’ve been thinking I would like one. I would be interested to know which you would recommend.

    1. Thanks, Karen 🙂
      I got a standard 72 point Classic Carder with packing brush, I love it, it still seems brand new to me. Any time anyone asks the ‘Spinners in the UK’ Facebook group, 99% recommend Classic carder too.

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I think a big part of the enjoyment of Botany Lap is seeing if I can work out what some of the fibres are!

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      I must admit, I wasn’t too impressed at first, but some of the natural greys were nice, and I did get a few smaller bits of blue and purple. I don’t mind too much though, with a few other shades even the pinky lilac made a nice blend and it keeps things cheap.

  7. Hi Zed. I’m going to get a carder soon, so I have a question about how you make roving from the batt. Do you just pull the fibers directly from the batt into the diz or did you put the batt on a comb and pull the fibers through the diz?

    1. Hi 🙂
      I’ll link you to a couple of videos, Ann made this first video which is where I learned how to do it: and here’s a video of me doing it, using an old film lid for a diz: when it gets to about 55 seconds you’ll see the ridge for releasing batts, I use that to release the first bit now, it just didn’t occur to me at first!

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