So, a while ago, my friend Rani asked if I could show the process I go through with raw fleece to get it ready to spin into yarn! No problem – well, actually getting off my butt to do it seemed to be, but I’M HERE NOW!!!! And, before I post this, let me just say that this will now be a 2-part tutorial because Blogger won’t let me upload the correct amount of pictures. You can expect part 2 to appear in my new, WordPress blog that I’ll be switching to later today!
Also, let me put in a disclaimer and a plug for YouTube and say that everything I learned, pretty much came from this video. It’s awesome, and it’s what I’m TRYING to do when I make rolags to spin. I hope I am actually doing it!! It works for me, so what I’ll show you in pictures is my style, I guess.
First, you start with clean fleece. Then, you pull it apart. So, step one, for me, is “pulling.” I put all the locks of wool that I pull out (think doll’s hair ringlets for this BFL/Cotswold fleece) in a tin bucket. Once I have a bucket full, I move on to step two – picking.
Picking: I grab a handful of locks, then pick them apart even more so that I wind up with a handfull of fluff, like you see above. This serves to better prepare the wool for ‘carding’ and also lets any little leftover bits of VM – vegetable matter (think about it!) – fall out, making the fiber even that much cleaner and nicer to spin and eventually knit or wear!
Carding: Now that I’ve gotten the fiber ready, I can grab my hand-cards (basically really big dog brushes, but there are actually different grades of fineness to them and such – it’s a very technical thing!) and begin to smooth the fiber out even more. I do this by brushing back and forth until all the little fibers/hairs are a pretty, airy cloud. Once there, we’re ready for step 4 – rolling (no, not THAT kind!).
Stay tuned for part two – see you on WordPress!