Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mama's Day At The Salon

Mama is all washed and looking sparkly white. There was still a little hay and dirt mixed in her clean wool, but with a little fluffing (pulling apart the big locks/clumps of wool), she was soon on her way to the carder.

I love having a screened table to do all this so the dirt falls through and collects on a plastic sheet below. Fluffing/picking outside works just fine as well though, especially if you have a slight breeze to help carry off the dirt.

I run everything through the Louet drum carder first. Hard to get a working picture of this by myself (Blossom's good, but not that good...yet ;-), but just imagine I'm putting the picked/fluffed up locks under the lower drum and using a handle on the side to turn everything so it ends up brushed out on the bigger drum.

Disregard that straggly piece of wool on the top of the small drum. Nothing behaves on this farm ;-). The wool actually goes under the small drum and up between the two drums to wrap around the bigger one.

After I've loaded up the big drum, I use an ice pick sort of tool to slip through that groove to loosen the wool and then peel it off (you can sort of see that in a picture below).

I ran Mama through one time, pulled it off, separated out the batt (what comes off - looks like a fluffy pillow) into four pieces, pulled the pieces out into thinner/longer strips (wouldn't it be nice if I'd included a video to explain this garbley gook?) and then ran it back through the Louet carder a second time.

I repeated that and then ran it once more, this time through the finer (wire teeth closer together) Strauch carder.

Here's what it looks like as it peels off. Again, not a super informative photo, but hopefully you get an idea.

I separated the batt out into thinner strips, rolled them into "danishes" and Mama is ready to spin!*

*Disclaimer - this is just how I do it and may not be the "right" way. Feel free to jump in any time with some clarification or corrections. We're all here to learn!


Michelle said...

Isn't it amazing how much junk falls out of a washed fleece?!?

I need to focus on Brava's neck wool. It's been sitting here on the floor near my computer for two years now since her passing, and I've decided that it will be one of my TdF challenges. So before TdF starts I need to get it monkey-picked, washed, picked again (it IS neck wool), and carded.

Dreaming said...

Oh, my mom would have loved your carders. She used the paddles. It was a long and tedious chore!

cecilia g said...

Oh MY goodness it fluffs up so beautifully. Like candy floss but warm.. What an incredible machine! I shall pop a link to this on my post tomorrow, I am going out into the field right this minute to get a shot of Mama to go with it! Lovely Lovely work. c

Mary said...

Looks lovely. I can almost feel the softness in your pics! :)

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Love what you're doing with all that wool! My Augie/pooch has to be shaved and has poodle like hair. I've saved after his winter cut for the last 4 years and plan on taking it all up to Blueridge, GA where they have an alpaca co op and will wash and make the fur/hair into yarm for me!! I can't wait to make an Augie scarf for myself :-}}

Sassafras and Winterberry said...

Loving that batt of wool. I wish I could dye it up and spin 'til my heart's content!

Terry said...

It's lovely!

Tombstone Livestock said...

Good job ........ makes me want to get off my behind and do something with those bags of wool I keep avoiding ........... been working on one. Have someone coming to look at some more ............ need more time, but hot weather here need to be outside watering Thyme and other things, LOL.

Alice said...

You did Mama’s hair like Cinderella’s :-)

I enjoy every step it takes for that final bun. Lucky me to have you for a teacher. :-D

Dicky Bird said...

Cute couple of the pictures...boy is Blossom cute! Blessings from Wisconsin

Maureen said...

Wow... how cool is that. To what you start with and what you end up with... incredible! Who taught you? Sounds like quite the process to learn and master.

amy@ Souldipper said...

What a wonderful job you've done, PP! As a child, I helped a neighbour card wool which I loved. Of course, as you show in your photos, the wool was wonderfully clean and easy to work with.

Just out of interest, we have a woman on my little island on the West Coast of BC who raises many sheep and produces lots of wool products. I bought a fleece quilt from her since I'm allergic to feathers. I found it rather heavy for my liking so I use it as a mattress pad. H E A V E N!!


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