Pinkie and the Brain

This post has been a loooooong time in the making, so be prepared for a long and picture filled post!  For my after-Christmas business present to me, I ordered a Fancy Kitty Kitten drum carder.  I have a good friend with one, and have heard many good recommendations about it on Rav and elsewhere on the web, and for the price….I went for it.  My reason for needing one?  My first honkin’ big box of Brown Sheep fibers were down to bits, all the fiber in top form I had dyed already.  Yeah, I have hand cards….but the lure of all those pretty batts out there was quite the siren call.  Before I forget….let me tell you that Ron at Fancy Kitty has fantastic customer service, and the carder was packed so well it could have survived a fairly catastrophic shipping accident totally unscathed.

So here she is when I got her in January.  Miss FC, and a pile of slightly felty looking bits and pieces I had thrown into a dyepot that needed exhausting.
Before!  FK Carder, and pile of matted fiber.

This is the 90/72 carder, and I sprung for the brush attachment.  The Kitten comes unfinished, so I’ll be applying some Tung Oil as suggested.
Carder working on a batt

Here’s the first batt after the first pass (on the chair), and working on the second batt.  Any clumpiness is due to beginner error!
Fancy Kitty Carder and the batts I made

Here’s both batts after two passes, plus a little wad of waste and stuff that was stuck on the drums.  Below is a closeup of the batts.  I didn’t do a third pass, since I wanted to keep the striations.
Two cotton candy batts!

Here’s the single, spun up using the plying head of my Lendrum, on the center ratio.  Also note the purple batt under it….we’ll talk about that in a bit.
Cotton Candy on the Lendrum, plus batt of the purple stuff.

And here is Cotton Candy, all finished up.  It’s nice and soft and a bit bouncy.  Around 34 yards/2oz at 6wpi.
Cotton Candy, all finished

All righty, remember the purple batt above?  That’s some more Brown Sheep wool (hand dyed by me), and it has a bunch of Lurex bright pink metallic threads in it.  Don’t have any Firestar or Angelina on hand yet, so I used the Lurex.  I had some as a carry-along yarn for machine knitting, so it was pretty easy to chop some up.  Below, I dizzed that batt off the carder using one of my son’s toys as a diz (I managed to get it off in 2-3 long pieces).  It made some nice roving, and it spun really nicely.  Anything to get me into long draw!  The one I left as a batt was a bit more problematic.  I stripped pieces off, and my pieces were not always the same width, which made my drafting different.
Purple roving that was dizzed off the drum carder

And here it is all plied up.  Seems innocent enough……
On the bobbin....purple roving with pink lurex bits.

Until I took it off the bobbin!!  Watch out for the brain!!!!!
Can we say overplied?

Can we say ‘overplied’?  Good, I knew you could!!  (Makes a good picture, though!)
Over Plied closeup

To be honest, I knew I had overplied it.  I was experimenting (and watching American Idol with a less than enthusiastic 4 yo), and just let it be that way.  Abby F. had posted about abusing a yarn, so I thought I’d try that.  Below is the same yarn, horribly mistreated.  Much more well behaved, but you can just see the plying energy trying to get out.  And the feel of the yarn wasn’t real great.
You can just see the ply trying to get out of there.

What was I to do with it?  I plan to use it with Cotton Candy (for something I will have to call Pinkie and the Brain), but the disparity just wouldn’t do.  So I took the yarn back to the wheel and TOOK PLY OUT.  Yes I did.  It was actually pretty easy to run it through and feel when I had spun it enough to take the kinks out.  Then I re-abused it.  There are areas (from the batt issues I mentioned) where there are big slubs that aren’t much spun, so I need some fulling to keep it together.  Below is my end result.  It wasn’t dry yet in that pic, so I expect a bit more fluffing, but it is now similar in grist and hand to Cotton Candy.  Yay!
Post un-plying and re-abusing

My next spinning project is an old one, I need to finish the second ply of this:
Carmel Apples single

After this experiment, I think I’m going to add some extra twist to this before I ply it.  I’m shooting for a tough but soft and bouncy sock yarn….something like Tiger Twist.

Then, I’m going to get to work playing with the carder.  I want to make some layered batts, and otherwise play.

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One Response to Pinkie and the Brain

  1. Laurie says:

    Hi. I plan on getting a kitten this week. Glad to see how nice your batt came out!!! Laurie

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