carding wool

This is part 2 in my wool series. I’ll just say again, this is my first time managing a fleece raw from the sheep. It’s a documentary, or a journal of sorts, intended to inspire those who might be interested in giving it a try, but think that this kind of thing is out of reach in their experience. It’s really not out of reach. If you want to try it, go for it! I’m having a fun time with it so far. I have to thank my few spinning friends for their help along the way, particularly Erin for this part, since she graciously allowed me to borrow her carders for awhile to get my rolags done.

On to the photos:

loading the carder

Carders come in pairs. This is one of them, loaded up with washed fleece and ready to begin the carding process. It’s hard to see, but it kind of looks like a huge dog brush. Except that the pins are all bent in the same direction. They hold the wool in place.

carded fleece

Basically what carding does is comb the wool fibres so they are all lined up in the same direction. This makes it possible to spin fine yarn. In the photo above, you can see what the wool looks like after it’s been combed using the carders. It’s hard to show exactly how to use the carders without video. (hmm, maybe next time…)

making the rolag

In order to get the wool off the carder you roll it into a big wooly sausage. This is known as a rolag.

rolag funnies

Next, you amuse yourself by thinking of all sorts of alternative uses for these crazy fluffy things, since you’ve never seen them before and you’ll hardly be able to keep your hands off them!

rolag pile

And repeat.

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I’m so looking forward to spinning! You’ll hear more about that too when I finally get started with it. For now there are some other things I need to make sure I get done, like canning delicious relish (yesterday’s project) and other yummy things for the winter.

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2 Responses to carding wool

  • WOW this is amazing, It so much work but is soooo satisfying. Are you going to dye it before or after you spin it?

  • It’s peaceful work, too… I’ll dye it after I spin it, I think that would be best. But I’m still figuring things out as I go along 🙂