Saturday, November 20, 2010

Toiling at the drum carder

Drum carding goes faster than handcarding, but it's still a tedious process - especially when the fibre is a bit felted from the dye process and you have to tease out each small batch before putting it through the carder. Thankfully, all the fibre I dyed was totally worth the effort. The fibre came out so soft and lovely.

First, the merino dyed in chestnut husks. The colour didn't come out quite right in the photo. It's a far deeper colour than you see here:

Then the amazing golden colour from the marigolds:

And, finally, the fibre I cooked up with the red cabbage. Originally, it came out of the dye bath a soft blue-grey. I put half the batch in a mix of water and baking soda, turning it instantly to green. What a lovely combination. The pile of little rolls just kept growing as I carded.

Unfortunately, due to my memory lapse about straining the boiled cabbage through a fine cloth, some teeny bits of cabbage, now just white flakes, are still in the fibre. Some came out first in the washing, then carding, but a few are tenacious. Hopefully more will pop out with the spinning.

They're so soft in feel and colour, it's tempting to rest your head on the pile like a pillow and enjoy a wee nap, dreaming about fleece of course.

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