Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blending Fibers with a Drum Carder

Blending colors on the Drum Carder was much easier than I thought it would be.  Before I bought this large machineI called the complany who made it (Fancy Kitty) and Ron, the creator, assured me that I could card a little or a lot with this machine.  I didn't want to have to card large batts if I only wanted to mix small amounts of color and it did the job beautifully. 

Here, I started with green and blue commercial Merino roving.

I peeled off thin layers of green and blue fibers and mixed them together in my hand beforre placing them on the bed of the Licker In.  I just tore off fibers, mixed them, tore off some more, so that the carder would pick up mixtures instead of chunks of color.

I watched to make sure the Licker In was picking up thin strands of fiber so that the colors would build up on the drum blended together more evenly.  I also made sure I applied the fibers to the Licker In right in the center so that a rope of roving would emerge when I removed the carded fibers.

After I carded all of the fibers I wanted, I stopped the machine and began peeling off the roving with the wooden Doffer Stick or knitting needle pushed along the edge of the metal seam of the carding drum.

I ended up with a perfectly blended rope of roving in a blue/green color - a perfect mixture of the blue and green Merino I started with.

Below is a photo of the roving I started carding on the outside with the carded roving placed between the two of them.

Blue plus green equals Blue/Green.  Amazing!!

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