Hello! I’ve been busy busy busy dyeing between the Mystery Shawl Along, and getting ready for Sheep in the City (which is next week already, yikes!). I’ve also been making batts while the skeins of Zephyr for the shawl along have been rewinding (1200 yards at speed slow…..zzzzzzzzzz). I’m particularly proud of these (so much so that I made a set for myself), and thought I would share how I made them.
Here’s the starting materials…..a pile of wool in two shades of purple, a bit of black, and a shiny streak of mohair.
The first task is to divide this pile into the number of batts I want to do. I’m using my Big Tom drum carder by Fancy Kitty, and it can make batts of 2-3 ounces pretty comfortably, so after weighing I decided to make 3 batts.
I started by eyeballing it, and then finished up by weighing each and evening out.
So here’s the content of one of those tubs. A large pile of dark purple, a streak of black, a silky bundle of mohair, a medium pile of pale purple, and a few bits of dark purple with blue streaks. I don’t want to lose the contrast between these, so I’m going to put all these on the carder…one pass and that is it.
Here’s my pattern. I planned the stripes based on the proportions of materials I have. I fed each strip in separately, if you want to feed all in at the same time, you really need to get the fiber fluffed and feed thin bits. Otherwise the swift will grab all these strips and once and yank them whole off the licker. Not pretty. I could feed them one at a time as shown, though, and the carder did a marvelous job of carding and distributing the fibers.
Here’s after a bit of feeding in. You will note that there isn’t much overlap. I have to correct this, since the batt won’t stay together if the different stripes don’t meet each other. I have limited black, so I decided to overlap the adjacent stripes over it, and add the black in intervals so it is through the batt. It’ll make a nicer blend when spun that way.
Once I was near the end of my fiber, I added the mohair in one even layer. I wanted it near the top layer for the shine, but in enough that it’d be easy to spin and keep the mohair fairly evenly distributed.
Another light layer of my stripes, and here’s the batt ready to come off the carder.
To give you some perspective on how large these batts are, I’ve included a 12 inch ruler in the picture.
I did the same with the remaining two bins, and here’s all three batts together. And I had a bunch of lace yarn rewound and ready to ship. Yay for multi-tasking!