Monday, September 8, 2008

Fiber Frolic

I made my first art batts today!

I had been thinking about it for a while, and with Camp Pluckyfluff coming up in a couple of weeks, I thought I might have some batts prepared to take with me.

I had already spent some time playing in my stash, and assembling a box of stuff I thought would be useful at C.P. - many braids of dyed Bluefaced Leicester (BFL; by Kim), various tops and rovings (e.g. soy silk, sari silk, Lincoln locks, dyed mohair locks, Firestar and angelina fibers...), and some other stuff like feathers and threads and flowers and beads that could potentially go into yarn. So I grabbed that box and rustled through it to see what I could come up with.

I grabbed a beautiful turquoise / green / orange (trust me on this) braid of BFL, and then grabbed a few different angelina fibers that would work, some silk noils and white icicle from my Travelling Rhinos fiber club shipments, white bamboo roving, and the "cool" colored baggie of mohair locks... and got to work!

I realized...this is FUN!!! Oh, man, is it fun! I was really going, and was making batts in about 5 or 10 minutes. I would just predraft out some fiber, lay it into the infeed of the carder, and just go... I did have to be careful to not feed in too much at once, and spread out the fibers so they didn't all clump in the middle.

Here's a shot of the carder with my first batt still on it:

And here are my first two batts. The firestar / angelina are showing up as sparkles in the shot, and the lustrous colored fibers on the right are the mohair locks. I have grown to dislike most mohair in commercial yarns, but I realized that these kid mohair locks are amazingly soft... perfect for a blend!

The shot below is the result of about 35 minutes of work. After the last batt was off, I cleaned out the carder well with the included pick, doffer brush, and hand card that came in the kit. It really makes a difference, not only in that I don't necessarily want turquoise BFL in my next blend, but that I got another 1/2 batt's worth of fiber out of the main carding drum as a result of cleaning!

I can't wait to spin these up! :)

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