Monday, August 15, 2011

"Keyena Tries Carding....."

Vertigo update: Some symptoms still present, but each day I get better. I'm "hoping" that by mid week I will be symptom free........

Keyena came down a week ago Friday to try out my drum carder on some llama fiber that she has. She'd not carded before so after some instruction, she set about carding the fiber. :) The llama fiber was easily carded and she had a batt of it very quickly. I suggested she try blending some sheep fiber with it so that she could test and compare its "spin ability". The llama fiber, by itself, didn't seem to have the "gripping" quality of sheep fiber, but I'm sure it could be spun by itself, too.

So in the spirit of experimentation, Keyena spun 1 batt of pure llama fiber and 2 other batts with sheep fiber blended with it. 1 of those batts held 25% sheep fiber to 75% llama, and the other 50%, or equal amounts of both fibers.

Keyena begins by loosing up the sheep fiber before carding. She had already measured out the amounts of llama and sheep fiber that needed to be blended.

Adjusting the brush to keep those "fly away" fibers from getting too out of hand. ;)

And she begins adding fibers to the drum carder.

This shows her feeding the fiber into the carding cylinders from the feed tray.

After carding all of the blended fiber, it is taken off of the large drum, split into 4 somewhat equal portions, and fed back into the drum carder once again. This was done for a total of 3 times with each blended batt. Carded fiber is quite strong. The fibers have been aligned and overlapped, creating a measurable thickness, so a special hook is needed to remove the carded fiber from the drum cylinder.

This is used across the entire drum cylinder......

Until the end of the batt is released and can be removed by hand.

A finished batt. I "believe" this was after the first carding, so it was then divided into 4 approximately equal parts (lengthwise) and re-carded. The process was once again repeated after it was removed from the cylinder, giving the blended fibers 3 cardings.

Here is the batt after it had been carded 3 times. This one was 25% Border Leicester Cross (sheep fleece) and 75% llama.

I have not heard back from Keyena yet as to which carded batt was the easiest to spin. I'm sure she would prefer having pure llama fiber, but I won't know which mixture spun up the best until I get some feedback from her.

1 comment:

Nan said...

I learned to spin using pure Llama. At first, it was a bit slippery, but it spins up beautifully.

BUT Llama and Alpaca have no memory and if a person wants to knit a garment, then ten percent sheep should be added. I use Merino as my blending fiber of choice.