Don surprised me with a HUGE piece of "fiber equipment" last week. He bought me a Strauch "Finest" Drum Carder!!!! He took me TOTALLY by surprise!! He'd seen me looking at carders online and decided to buy me one, "just because he could"......that was the reason I got from him. He also said that he felt not having one was holding me back from really exploring fiber. Whatever his reasons, I am VERY happy to have this wonderful carder.
I included this photo just because of the lights on the tree. ;)
Coincidentally, I "just happened" to have washed a fleece last month, in readiness to begin some hand carding, using Copper's dog brush. It is an Icelandic Sheep fleece (Molly's is the ewes name) that I bought from Joan, in Maine, who owns Applesauce Hill Icelandic's. I did not wait until the next day to try out the carder. It was immediately set up on the kitchen table to try some carding (I also knew what I would be doing the next day, so why not have everything in readiness, eh?). :)
The fleece is fed (with fibers opened up/fluffed) along the feed hopper into the "in feed" drum, where it is then transferred onto the large drum. This process aligns the fibers all in one direction, so when spinning "from the batt", the fibers are more easily drafted to attain the size yarn (single) that is wanted.
When the large drum is full, the batt is removed, split, and carded once again. So far, I have only carded the Icelandic fleece, but if I wanted to blend the Icelandic with another fiber, I would card the types together a couple of times, until they were blended to my satisfaction. There will be plenty of opportunity for "experimentation". :)
This batt was split and sent through the carder once again. Each batt is carded "at least" twice, sometimes more, depending on what a person is carding.
More to follow......