With an impending sheep shearing session planned and countless YouTube views on drum carding wool under my belt, it was high time for me to get out the Baby Brother Drum Carder and give it a whirl. I hope that I never stop experiencing new things! The first pass went so smooth. The process of carding is such a relaxing experience. Maybe it would drive some people crazy picking out bits of dry vegetation, but I really do enjoy it... Makes me think about the sheep outside in the summer grasses. :)
Here is a look at my maiden pass. I was working on Lego's fur. She has beautiful gray fur with single black strands mixed in. The black is a wonderful addition and makes me wonder how nature could create such a wonderful fleece. She does have some more solid black sections to her fleece, and I will card those in their own slivers.
This angle shows the slicker wheel that carries it to the main drum. It catches the some of the short unusable wool. But if I put too much wool through at once or pull back on the hair, it will get caught in this wheel as well. If that happens, it can be cleaned off and reused.
Once the large drum gets filled, I turn it until I arrive to the metal plate that connects the beginning and end of the pinned fabric. A pick or doffer is used to gently pull the wool apart. Then, I hold onto one end of the carded wool as I run the wheel backwards to remove the sliver...
And viola, straight beautiful wool roving is created! I am sure that the first pass could be used to needle felt or spin, but each of my bundles received two passes through the carder. The second carding was just another chance to pull out any dry vegetable fiber that got passed over the first time.
I cannot wait to try a few of the other wool fleeces. Lego's fur is very soft and slick. Brick's fur, on the other hand, is a wonderful bronze color and more catchy feeling. It will be interesting to see the challenge that awaits with his. Farmerboy also brought me Luke's pure black llama fur. It is so long and soft. I have some ideas involving needle felting to try some of the roving out on. :)
As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, the sheep had a hair appointment. Since my photos were taken, we have had the flock sheered. I will share pics of them in the next few days. It was quite the experience for last years lambs. LOL Everyone made it through unscathed; though, Luke the llama was quite distressed to be separated from his family while they got their trims. ;)