This weekend I was down at the farm. I dyed a batch of purple wool and spent many, many hours carding. So much so that when I drove home after sunset Sunday night, the clouds in the sky looked exactly like the bits of fleece I had been carding. Like exactly, down to the “crimp.” Rembember hair crimping in the eighties? Pretty much looks like that but it occurs naturally to a degree is some fleeces.
For non-fibers folks: Carding is a process that gets all the fibers going in the same direction, which must be done before wool (or any fiber really) can be spun into yarn and then into textiles. I am a lucky duck and have access to an electric drum carder (or du-da-duh, Supercarder!), as seen below. Each batch is called a “batt.” So over the weekend, I carded something like 17 batts, which doesn’t sound like alot, but then again, some batts have to be carded up to 4 times each if I’m blending with another fiber. I was blending some angora bunny into the purple this weekend, for example. It also takes much longer if I’ve over-agitated the wool in the washing and dyeing process, which tangles the fibers. Apparently I have a problem with that.
I cannot even imagine doing this with a non-electric carder or god-forbid, old-fashioned hand carders. That would simply not happen. Anyways, I know I had promised a blog on the carding process, but this is all you get right now! Deadlines loom!