Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alpaca Cowl - Part 3 (Still in the fiber studio)

Step 7 - Prepping the fleece (continued) 

Now onto prepping Rosalita's fleece.

After the fleece has dried thoroughly (fiber tools don't like wet fleece), we start the real work :)
Washed Fleece (Rosalita) before combing

Rosalia's fleece needed to be combed to remove as much VM as possible.  Any of those of you that spin know that an occasional piece of VM is ok, but when you have to stop every inch to remove something, it takes the joy out of spinning, so I wanted to remove as much as possible.

I started on my blending hackle (pictured) and my 2 row combs (which I use for most things).

Adding the fiber to the blending hackle

I combed the fiber from the hackle to the comb and back (pictured), and still had some residual VM.

The fiber after it has been combed 2x

Soooo I moved to my 4 row hand combs and abandoned the hackle.  Of course this slows down the process, but I wanted it clean.

Here is a picture of the waste on the 4 row combs after combing 2x.  There was a lot of VM in there, but what I got with the 4 row combs was a nice clean BEAUTIFUL fleece!!!  (The fiber looks so light because it was so sunny in my fiber studio that day).

The waste from the combing process

So you may ask, what do I do with all the "waste fleece" from combing?  Typically if a fleece is a combed, shorts are left and this can be used in the drum carder (or blending board) to make textured yarn, but when there is THIS much VM in the "waste" - I use it in my bird nesting balls.

I then used my blending board again.  Yes, I could have carded the fibers into a batt, but it was nicely combed and as I said in my last post - I AM OBSESSED with the blending board :)

Here is the fiber on the board before I doweled it off into rolags.  Some cultivated silk and white firestar accent the rose grey fiber beautifully!!!
Rosalita, silk, and sparkle on the blending board

A Rosalita Rolag

Much combing and many rolags later and here is both plys of yarn getting ready to become a unified yarn. I spun Rosalita's ply thick and thin because Heather wanted an artsy look . . .

Brandy on the left and Rosalita on the right

Next time - the finished yarn and cowl.  . . . 

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