Monday, 15 August 2011

Making Monday: Batts

This week for Making Monday I've been playing with fibre. Lovely fluffy fibre! It's so fluffy I'm gonna die type fibre!

Not the greatest picture in the world, but hey, I couldn't be bothered to move to get a better one :P The stuff in the bag is alpaca, I can't remember what the bag says to say who its from... but its the stuff thats been CUT WITH SCISSORS!!!!! to make 50g bumps. *deep breath* I really struggled to spin the first 50g on my wheel... stupid cut ends! Anyway... the other stuff is Blue Faced Leciester , and the shiny green stuff is, well, shiny green stuff. I think its angelina. I got it from... a swap? I dunno. It appeared in my stash one day.

So, I'm currently borrowing KnitCave's drum carder. Now the drum carder and I became fantastic friends when we spent a whole day carding fleece for the Newbury Coat Re-enactment (see Miss Elle Knits episode 30), and so we've decided to spend a little more time together. Mostly to card the shetland fleece I bought from Wonderwool Wales, but also to play with some of the other fibres in my stash. On Saturday we carded the black merino that Rhian bought me for Christmas (or birthday? sometime last year!) with some silver shiny stuff thats also probably angelina. They are pretty batts!

Well today after carding another batt of the shetland (which is slow going coz all the fleece needs to be combed and fluffed out before I can do anything with it), I decided to combine the above alpaca, BFL and green... mostly coz I love spinning from batts, and also because as yet I haven't played with combining different fleeces.

Heres the lovely drum carder with some fluff already on it. I had 100g of BFL which I divided into 4, and 50g of alpaca which I divided into 4, and an unknown quantity of green which... I roughly divided into 4.

The idea was each one of those 4 would make a batt, so I would end up with 4 batts of roughly equal weight. Turns out thats too much to fit on the carder, so each 4 was again divided into 4, with 3 going into a batt, and 1 being left. Which equals 4 of each being left over. Two of each go into a batt, so I have 4 larger batts and 2 smaller batts. If that makes sense to anyone, I'm kinda tired right now :P

So you fluff out the fluff, coz it needs to be fluffed out and practically see through to go through the carder properly (I told you I was tired...) and then you turn the handle and everything goes round and round! Like magic!

And you can kinda, sorta see the smaller drum (licker drum?) brushing the fibre onto the bigger drum (carding drum? One day I will learn what everything is called...).

Once you've got enough on there, you use a giant poking device (doofer? Because you say "doofer!" when you pull it up?) to break apart the ginormous round fibre thing (seriously, my eyes are closing as I type this...).

And you start gently pulling it off the drum. Not too quickly or it will all get left behind in those giant teeth! Which are sharp by the way... Ask me how I know lol!

Here is a close up of the batt... you can only just see a small amount of green shiny sparkle. There wasn't as much as I was hoping to be honest...

And then TechGeek wanted to watch TV, and said the noise from the drums turning was annoying, so I've still got one more batt to make:

And now I'm looking forward to spinning these lovely BFL/alpaca/green batts! Maybe when I get my new spindle... which should be this week *squeeee*!!!

xxx Elle xxx

PS: I'm going to bed now! BYE!

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