Drum carding to blend and mix
The spring destash was going to provide me with a lot of winter combings from spinning projects. I comb long locks and keep the residuals for this purpose. I also have left over bits of prepped wool that wouldn’t fit on the bobbin, plus samples and other miscellaneous interesting fibers. These are set aside and kept in the black hole loving referred to as ‘the safe place’ only to be discovered once a year during cleaning.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it was time to take full advantage of what spring can be to drum card outside after what was a disastrous weekend for so many people in this area.
I pick through the different colours and group them in ways that work together. I liked the way the green, purple and blue shimmered in the sun, so started working with that blend first.
Once through the drum leaves clear definition of colour and texture of some of the locks.
There is extreme inconsistency between the two batts and they need to be divided and put through the drum carder again to even out the blend. I weighed them and was pleased to find they weighed 36.5 gm and 37 gm, so splitting them would work perfectly. I split them and reweighed the bundles and found they now weighed 38 gm each. Think I might need a new scale, but close enough for right now.
Twice through the drum and the blending is a bit more consistent, but not so much that the locks are getting taken apart. I can still see one or two bits in the blend, so that’s good for these batts. They are an overall single colour, but you can still see the individual bits that go to make the whole picture.
I tried to use two different terms here, mix and blend. For me a mix is a thorough incorporation of the different fibers into one homogeneous mass. A blend is a more gentle suggestion that the fibers and colours work together, but remain individual.
The next batt was a mix of red, blue and purple. This had bits of different breeds of wool; some merino, some suffolk, some unknown, as well as some silk in red and purple which will give a slight shimmer. I really wanted to thoroughly mix the colours the way I would mix a dye to get a homogenous result. Sounds easy enough, but it’s not.
This is the first pass through the drum to show how the colours stand out from each other. The purple is gone, but the blue and red are clearly defined, some of the silk is blended, but some was very difficult to mix in.
After five passes through the drum carder I had to take a break and modify my standards; this is not the result I wanted, but it will have to do. I enjoy seeing the colours that compose the overall result, but I wanted a thorough mix just to be able to say I did it. The wisp of fiber in the center is for contrast to show the before and after of mixing.
There were also several bits of noils and knots some roving that was left. It was piled into the drum and run through just to see if anything interesting would pop up. This is really bottom of the sink sort of colours. I was really pleased with the result!
Reminded me of the Prairies in the spring with crisp blue skies, dry grass, pink clouds. I might need to take a class from Ann on how to do landscapes in felt.