Thursday, February 12, 2015

The joys of blending in!

Cleaned alpaca (left) and tunis (right) wool with hand carders in the center.

I can't tell you the relief and giddiness I felt when I took the above picture! I was DONE with cleaning and picking out the VM and waiting for the wool to dry, now, I can begin the next process which is: blending both wool together.

 If it wasn't for youtube and other blogs and articles I would have no idea what I was doing! But now, it was my turn to do the deed! So... I began!

When I first started blending by putting alpaca wool on the bottom edge of one carder and lay tunis wool on the top, it was a mess. Cos the alpaca was much stronger than the tunis, the tunis just slid off but wasn't grabbing the alpaca to slide with it onto the next carder. It was like trying to blend water and oil, they were still separating! 

So recognizing that, I decided to switch how I was placing the wool on the hand carder:

 On the above photo you see that I placed the alpaca wool at the edge of the carder.

On the photo above you will see that I placed the tunis wool behind the alpaca, as tunis is the more weaker of the two.

After gently carding the wool, as you see in the above photo, look how absolutely beautiful and well blended the wools are together! Yes, I shall wait until the applause has died down to move on! No, please... continue! Hee Hee!

After carding I rolled them into loose rolags to later blend even more!
loosely rolled rolag

bundle of rolags ready for the next process!
Another step, Elisa? Why not just start spinning straight from the rolags? Because even though it looks well blended, there was still some separation I could notice up close! And because my goal is to sell the yarn I spin from this wool, I want an amazing quality, and I want to make it as perfect as possible, even if it means putting in another step that is "unnecessary", but i'd rather be safe than sorry!

My next step? Blending hackle!

 My darling husband made this blending hackle for me for under $20 (with the help of my daddy who was here with my mama!), to buy a good blending hackle would cost up too $200!!! So, he made one for me instead! 

I put the rolags on the hackle for dizzing...
For a dizzer I used to use a small hole washer you can get at home depot for around a $1. But I would get frustrated with it, because the smallest hole they had wasn't small enough, yes, the wool would clump together but right when they went through the washer they would just loosen up so I wasn't getting a strong "true top" roving!

So, I improvised for free! I went to my cooking cabinet and took out the top of a lemon and pepper container and used the center hole as my diz!

My new diz!

 When dizzing you must be very careful... it's not about strength (or else you'll rip apart your wool and also pull down the nails in your homemade hackle!), it's about technique in pulling your wool into the diz to make it into roving!


Look how strong and smooth that roving looks! The lemon and pepper container top really improved the results of my work! I had to have a "feel" for it to get the right results!

After dizzing from the hackle
The results of the aftermath of picking VM, washing, drying, carding, blending and dizzing is the most satisfying feeling ever! Here is the results of all that work! a rolled up true top roving!

Next post will focus on the spinning and dyeing! Stay tune!!!

Sadie thought she wouldn't get caught sniffing too close to the wool! She looks a bit confused and shocked she got caught and is given a lecture. As you can see, we knew what she was doing cos of the evidence on her snout! She's giving me that look that says, "Well, you see... what had happened was..."

" Ma... before I get in big trouble I really want you to know... I really love you... ok? "

No comments:

Post a Comment