One Of The Ways I Card An Art Batt For Spinning

IMG_1194I mentioned that my order from Wingham finally arrived with the right green.  The green on the right looks a bit more teal than it actually is.  It is actually green.  I have 100g and 200g.  It is time to make batts for spinning so that I can weave a scarf for my daughter.  It is going to be a little bit late for her birthday as my order was late, but better late than never.IMG_1195These are the bling fibers that I will be adding to my batt.  I like to add similar or monochromatic colors together.  I have three shades of viscose, glitzy by WOW, sari silk fibers, thrums from weaving projects, locks, and mulberry silk.  The sari silk fibers have other colors in them that offer contrast and so do the thrums.IMG_1196This is my drum carder and is where all of the action happens.IMG_1197These are my carding tools.  You don’t need much.  The doffer in the center came with the carder.  Under that is a bamboo skewer.  Some people use a porcupine quill, but I already had these and they work just as well.  The little comb thing is something my daughter bought me for needle felting.  I don’t know what it is called, but it is great at cleaning the brushes on the drum carder.  I also use a dog brush for packing and smoothing the fibers on the drum.IMG_1198I always start with a layer of merino.  I lay the wool directly on the top drum and the fibers pull off as the drum goes around.  It is sort of like dragging the roving down a blending board.IMG_1199I then add some bling.  Here I put the sari silk fibers, dragging them along the drum as I wind.  It could have been any bling.IMG_1200The important thing is to sandwich the bling between layers of wool.  These are thrums.  Thrums are the leftovers and waste yarn used in weaving, such as bits that are cut off of the fringe.  As I don’t use any particular ‘waste’ yarn in weaving, my thrums are basically what I need to cut off to make the fringes even at each end.  Urban GypZ mentioned using thrums in making art yarn, so this is the first time I am trying it.  I thought I would sandwich them between the merino and put it through the licker in.IMG_1202This didn’t quite work out the way I expected, so I added more wool to the drum and put the thrums on by hand.IMG_1203I then anchored them on with another layer of wool.

IMG_1204This stopped the yarns from moving around and ending up on the licker in.  I used a fair amount of wool to lock everything in and to get ready for the next bit of bling.IMG_1205

IMG_1206I dragged some dark green viscose along the drum for a bit of contrast and shine.IMG_1207Because I had some chunky bits on the drum, I didn’t use the dog brush to smooth the batt or to pack it down even more.  I have a packer brush I got from Wingham which the hubs hacked by putting packers on the carder to keep it in place and that does the trick.IMG_1208Some more wool, still using the same darker green.

IMG_1209I added a layer of glitzy for some sparkle.  A little bit goes a long way.IMG_1210And finally another layer of merino wool.  And that’s it for this one.IMG_1211I peeled the batt off of the carder and rolled it.  It weighs 53g.  At this stage one can do a few things for spinning.  You can split it into strips, draft it out and spin like roving,  or you can spin from the side of the batt, or you can do what I did and split the batt in half, roll it up and spin from the side.IMG_1212I made two more batts. One in the lighter green, with Teeswater locks and thrums.IMG_1216And I made another one with mixed colors, but mostly the darker green with everything.IMG_1217They all weighed just over 50g.  So, that is pretty much how I am making batts these days.  How are you making batts?

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