Thursday, February 26, 2009



Many things have seemed elusive recently, including the color of the final Twilight yarn. A little grey, a little brown, an overwash of deep rose...

Actual progress on spinning projects also feels elusive. It may not actually BE elusive, because trail and error must be adding something to the body of knowledge, but still, an FO seems a far off dream.

Spend several hours today processing some alpaca fleece (a not to brilliant picture here). Staple is about 4 inches with some crimp. Light VM, some easily spotted second cuts. Initially the fleece was dusty, which produced a gritty spinning experience. Not for me. A wash left the fiber cleaner, but somewhat wadded together and crusty at the tips. Tried the following:

1. Separate locks. Drum card locks butt end first (on coarse guild loaner). Result - is it everyone else's photographs or do my batts really look tangled?

2. Separate locks. Flick with flea comb (oops, was that supposed to be dog comb?). Result: Almost all VM removed. Easily fed into carder "sideways."

3. Separate locks. "Topload" drum carder, initially holding locks until they are pulled open, then gradually releasing for take up. Result: like flicking, but faster.

4. For areas without discernible lock structure: pick into open cloud. Drum card. Result: slightly more textured batt. Slightly more VM.

In my mind, I picture a perfectly smooth batt, but I'm starting to realize that I don't know how to get that result. Do I card more (two or three runs through), or am I just hitting a wall with the coarse cloth and the fine fiber?

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