Friday, March 21, 2008

Roving issues...

First of all, yes, I think the acid dye with the silk/linen will work just fine... I just have to figure out the exact color.

Now, then...

I love the ladies at Yarns, Etc. in Greensboro, but the gray wool roving I got is, on close inspection and in practice, unspinnable in its current state. I have every confidence that when I blend it with the alpaca I have from Ilana (as I've already blended a small amount and tried drafting it) that it will spin perfectly and be completely beautiful. It's wonderfully soft. Not the slightest bit coarse or itchy. I think I could wear it next to the skin even. The problem is that the drum carding didn't remove enough of the noils and vm to draft it as it is. Too many little tangled bits and burrs, and besides that it has A LOT of crimp, which makes it cling to itself and not draft easily at all... I don't have my own cards yet to fix it, only dog slickers, which are only good for processing and blending very small amounts of fiber (any quantity just takes too long and I keep hitting my fingers, causing small scratches and irritation that is so not fun). I don't want this to reflect at all ill on the rovings that the ladies at Yarns, Etc sell. This was an emergency purchase and they were so very kind to accommodate me and get me what I asked them for during a very busy time of year for them. Every other bit of roving I've ever gotten from them has been utter heaven to spin. I just can't use this roving for this particular project. Although I think later this summer it will make some beautiful yarn when I have time to deal with it properly.

So, I'm on a search of ebay for other roving. I just got some delicious silk/linen stuff from coppermoose (I've bought from him many times before and he has incredibly wonderful stuff at very reasonable prices and quick shipping) and I think I will try him first.

On the handcards front, after extensive researching the different brands, I'm thinking the Schacht handcards. (And OMG their wheels are BEAUTIFUL but so expensive, OMG!) They cost a little bit more than most, but not that much more, and they are US made of domestic hardwood, and seem to have a lot of good features for longevity that the others don't have. I need advice on whether the curved or straight ones are better, or what the advantages of each are. I have nowhere near me where I might try them out for myself. Also, the coarsest fiber I ever work with is Corriedale, everything else is stuff like Merino, Shetland, and alpaca... so 72 or 112 points? I know 72 is "all purpose" and 112 is for "fine fibers"... but what exactly constitutes "fine fibers"? Because I know things can get a heck of a lot coarser than Corriedale, and the 72 point hardcards work for that, so... hmmmm...

7 comments:

La Duchesse said...

I remember having the same problem when I was using dog brushes! I haven't mastered using my handcards, though... There must be a technique to it that I'm just not getting. :P

Rachael said...

Must just be what happens when one tries to use slicker brushes that way. I need to get some handcards.

What kind do you have, straight ones or curved ones?

La Duchesse said...

They're curved. I think they're Strauch, but I don't remember. They've been sitting in a basket of alpaca fuzz for a while now and I've forgotten how to juggle them.

La Duchesse said...

They're curved Strauch cards. I take it there's a difference in the care and feeding thereof?

Rachael said...

Not sure... But they make both kinds, so I assumed that there was some sort of point in making them different. Like one was good for a particular thing and the other another. But perhaps it's personal preference. I haven't had any time to do any further research on the subject yet... I'll let you know if I find anything out though.

La Duchesse said...

Fanks. :)

Rachael said...

Somehow your first response to my curved/straight? question got lost in my inbox until just now... Sorry about that.