Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Meet my new ...

Drum Carder ...

I wanted a carder that was going to give me BIG BATTS. But here in the UK I could not find anything suitable... everything over here yeilded the same sized batt 8"x22"to23"... now for spinning this would be fine but for felting it just wasnt what I wanted. SO, what followed was an awful lot of research on the internet finding BIG drum carders that are available in the US (they have some beauties!). Then figuring out what they would cost with import tax & delivery etc. Result... as you can guess, waaay too expensive for me!

I dont really know what made me do it, but instead of just plumping for a standard sized carder I phoned one of our UK makers;
Classic Carders run by Paul & Mandy Brittan - a husband & wife team in Shropshire, UK. I wanted to ask them whether they would be able to make a bigger carder. AMAZINGLY, Paul had just the day before finished his prototype Jumbo Carder. I ordered one on the spot & Paul made me a beautiful carder from solid Ash. I was able to collect it in person as Mandy & Paul are just a 50 minute drive away.

This is the 1st Jumbo Carder that they have sold & Im putting it through its paces :) Its a learning curve for me... as you know Ive never had a drum carder before. I reeeally enjoy using it! Ive read & watched loads of tutorials on the internet which has helped loads.

So far I am only blending merino & other fine fibres. Though the drum is the standard 8" width, when the batts come off the are about 10" wide, by 33" long. With the fine fibres Im getting batts of approx 50g to 60g. I dont think that I can squash them on anymore... but Im going to have a try. Mandy says the batts should be 100g+... Im not sure if thats because she was using heavier wool, think it was an English fleece.

SO, time for some eyecandy :)

Im playing with lots of pretty colours...

Silk fibres & firestar...

And things like mohair curls... I havent had chance to do LOADS of batts yet; but I have made 3 shawls, a big wrap/scarf & 4 smaller scarves with them. Plus a shawl sized piece which didnt quite work out, but will be re-purposed another day. As usual Ive been adding in 'bits n pieces' for surface decoration; sari silk fibres & ribbons, linen fibres, 100% silk velvet as in this scarf...

e finito...

Showing the 2 ends together (just realised you cant tell theres 2 pieces, I dont want you thinking its so hefty as it would be if was that wide lol :)

Tomorow I shall post some photos of the others scarves, shawls & pins
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My Heart Exposed Yarns said...

Hi Deborah

I posted about these Jumbo carders on ravelry yesterday, there is a message thread going on on the UK Spinners Group but it did not get any response. I love the look of the Jumbo, was set to buy a Minty Drum Carder but then like you, did some research online and found this. I like that the drum is removable.

Will watch with great interest your carding experience, so looking forward to buying mine after Christmas :)

Loving your work!

Happy Christmas, your batts are stunning by the way.

Helen x

ruthie said...

OOh, Deborah isn't it fab to get a new piece of epuipment to play with! I love some of the colour combinations, and the finished scarf is beautiful, just the colours i am into at the moment. HAve fun. Also thanks so much for letting me know about my web site (sighs) i get so frustrated with technology, all i want to do is apint lol. From this end the site looks fine, i shall have to ask a few folk to check it out for me, thank u so much for taking the time to let me know. If not ok i shall have to sort when im back , im off on an adventure in the morn. Have a great week. ruthie x

Kelly said...

LOVELY batts! I also have done mostly merino, but I did try my alpaca and it was a bear to clean all of the fine pieces off of the drum afterward.... I have found using a stiff bristle hairbrush makes for a quick clean up.