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.
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.
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.
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!
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.