Tomorrow is the second day of the two-part spinning class. Our homework was to wash and card the fleece we were sent home with last week. To see the washing process, my friend and classmate Rosanne documented it far better than I could have. Just imagine me, with a bucket in our hallway bathroom, with Sissy very literally standing on my back. Well, her front feet were on my back anyway, and she was sure trying to peer over my shoulder.
After leaving it out overnight and all day yesterday, I sat down to card it on the back deck yesterday. There’s the happy fleece, at least as clean and happy as it is going to get at my house. I used Alberto VO5 shampoo, because that’s what I could put my hands on while Sissy stood on my back. (Thanks Anne, or whichever house guest left it there for my moment of need.)
Let the carding begin! I’ll admit I’m not great at feeding the fleece onto the carder, but short of improving my technique tonight, I’m as good as I’m going to get. Rosanne said she didn’t mind the washing, but I did. It was stinky, and watching our lovely Virginia red clay run and run and run from the fleece wasn’t my idea of fun.
Here’s a little mid-carding shot for you. Basically, these are giant slicker brushes (like for rough coated terrier and/or horses) and you just rake and flip until it looks even enough to suit.
More dragging of the paddles, and you get to a point where you want to flip the fibers around a bit so you can look for more debris to pick out. This shot is a flip or two into the process, just before the rolag is made.
Here are a couple of rolags. I love the variations, based on what “wads” of fleece I grabbed and put on the carder. I suspect in the hands of a more skilled washer and carder, the rolags would be closer to the same size, but whatever. I created 14 of those fellas yesterday, and due to the rain in the forecast, they’re hanging out on the guest bed, with the door shut, because even good Mugsy might think they look like the fluff he pulls out of toys with much delight.
There were injuries too. I scraped the devil out of two fingers on my left hand (carding and Sissy aren’t a good mix, but she’s fine and I took the hit), and finished up with yet another splinter in my poor right foot. The Knight has announced I *WILL* wear shoes on the deck now. Right… What’s the point of having a deck and spring weather if I have to wear shoes?!
I predict I have at least twice as many rolags to go. The Knight merely noted that homework isn’t supposed to be fun. I’m not about to pull an all-nighter with the carders. I think the fleece is self-replentishing somehow…