Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exciting news.. for me anyway.

Remember this post?

Well, that was all about this:

My mother received a nice sum of money that she didn't even know was owed her and was generous enough to share with several members of the family. After pondering long and hard I decided to use it like this.

Kaydessa Wool picker
Fancy Kitty drum carder
Card Weaver's Surf Board.

Can you see me doing The Dance Of Joy now?

The Kaydessa Wool picker is pretty neat in theory.
You put your compacted fiber in one end, drag the lid (containing multiple sharp nails) across the bottom (also containing multiple sharp nails), and as you do this you catch the fiber which opens it up to become nice fluffy mounds on the other end while all the vegetable matter (VM)is left in the bottom.
That's how it works in theory. The top picture is staged. You can't draw that much fiber through at one time. Also, that mohair was so compacted with tight curls that I had to pick it open with my fingers before sending it through so the picker didn't tear the fiber. The nice fluffy mound of fiber on the right hand side of the picker was hand picked once and sent through the picker twice after that. While it did help remove a lot of VM, there is so much of it in this fleece that I had to hand pick it once, send it through the picker twice, hand pick it again before drum carding it and still there was a pile of VM under the carder when I was done while the new bat contains too much VM for my liking. This is not the fault of the picker though. This fleece is terrible in it's amount of VM. So much so that I'm not buying from this local "award winning" shepherdess again.
Anyway, with a long fiber like mohair, the picker tends to pull and rip the fiber too much. I tried it with a small amount of merino/targhee x and it pilled terribly. I'm going to have to play around with this thing more to see what it likes to work with. I don't mind hand picking smaller amounts of fiber but, even with it's flaws, the Kaydessa wool picker will come in handy with 5 VM filled mohair fleeces to work with.

The Fancy Kitty 90/120 drum carder
This is what I thought I'd never be able to afford. It's taking some getting used to, and there's certainly more of a learning curve than when using combs, but it sure plows through large amounts of fiber in short order. In this picture I've carded some professional top, dyed by me, and some more of that mohair, also dyed by me. Orange and blue are not my usual colors but there's something about a drum carder that begs you to play outside your usual field.
I've carded two bats of this same blend and hope to knit some sock/slipper things with it.

My favorite purchase, by far, was the Card Weaver's Surf Board.
Please excuse the messy picture. It's sitting on top of my floor loom which was piled high with clothes sorted for an emergency trip out of state for a family funeral.
Anyway, I love this little thing. No more having to strap my work to my waist, or try to find a table or other surface that won't be needed for as long as it takes to finish a project. I LOVE this thing. There are a few things I would change about it but just the fact that it's light weight and oh-so portable makes it's well worth the money. There will be a lot more tablet woven bands around here now.