A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Making Clouds

One of the new things I learned to use over the weekend was this scary Patrick Green look-alike tool named wool picker, built by one of Pam‘s family members.

It’s a device that fluffs up cleaned woolly locks, allowing the vegetable matters (aka VM) to fall out, and blending fiber too.

The picker isn’t cheap, but–if you have a ton of fiber to process–it might be worth it. Some VM will come out if you card it. More VM would come off if you comb it–of course, combing takes more time and produces more waste from the woolly pile. First set the picker up and fill it full of wool and get all my aggressions out…or maybe not!

I saved a lot of time by being able to pick the washed wool quickly. I learned by sweat equity to feed small pieces of wool through and not the whole sheep. LOL You really form a dance with the picker and the fiber flys through in no time. Playing this small batch just made me really want to pick more and frequently.

Then it shall go into a hand- or drum-carder.

I don’t normally dizz or anything, just use them to open up the wool–same thing as a picker would.

The picker really does work magic–I ended up with big clouds of opened locks–no trouble here. It earns its place…if I have a dedicated studio.

The only caveat that I will give on the picker–in addition to the fact that it’s not suitable for fine wools and can be dangerous–is that you need to make sure all of the wool is good and clean and the tips aren’t stuck together. I washed this wool in less than optimum conditions (my first raw fleece experience) so some of the locks didn’t wash out completely at the tips. The picker created knots at those ends that were nearly impossible to pull apart. If I had been hand-picking, I could have pulled the locks apart. Luckily there wasn’t much of this, and the rest of the fluffy clouds of picked fiber were easy to card.

For a small blending exercise, I carded together 11 grams in total of Ashland Bay colored merino

11 grams from the carded dark espresso fleece above

spun the blended batt on Pam’s Schacht Matchless…next wound singles into a center-pull ball

and plied together–all done over the course of viewing The Revenge of the Bridesmaids–resulting 110 yards (or averaging 250 yards/50 grams) of light fingering-weight 2-ply yarns.  I did strive to spin up heavier gauge than my typical fine lace.  Consider the first batch a success.   I see another swirl in the making…this one in my own hand-spun 😀  What do you think?  Cherish it?  Tweak it?  Or scrap it?!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)


Comments on: "Making Clouds" (1)

  1. […] The best feature of the do-it-yourself, duct tape form is that it’s so quick to make you may have a working form ready in less than two hours.  And, the cost to accomplish this?   A whopping $10=15 as I already has a perfect shirt from my stash to Goodwill and some stuffing. Are you enticed now to make one? Here is a clip we played while making our last weekend. […]

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