Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hand Carding is Harder than it Looks

Yesterday I received a wonderful gift from a friend of mine.  She gave a beautiful set of Howard Brush Hand Carders (  This very fine carder set is 190 TPI (teeth per inch) and 8 inches long.  The carders are flat and made from lovely wood.  The handles fit just perfect in my hands - my hands are large for a woman so I was happy to see they were not too skinny.

Armed with a playlist of videos on YouTube, an iPad, some alpaca roving, and of the course the carders, I started on my journey into an old tradition of hand carding.

The videos made the carding actions look very simple.  No problem I thought.  Well - there were problems.  First of all, I am a lefty.  It took me some time - almost an hour - to translate the actions of the right handers into actions for a left hander.  In the process of doing so, I snagged two teeth on my carder (which I was able to bend back) and pretty much make a giant mess of my wool.

So, as I tell my 4 year old, KEEP TRYING!  I continued to basically hack away at the wool until I finally accomplished something that sort of looked like a rolag.  I continued working for about three hours and made a sort of batt.  By laying it all out, I did see I was improving.  I will continue to keep trying tonight.

My major issue is that I keep getting bits of rolled fiber sneaking in from the edge toward the handle on the top carder and making a "line" in my rolag.  Guess this is one of those things I just have to work out from practice.

1 comment:

  1. I dont know if your still carding or not, and you have probly figured it out by now if you are but it sounds like your putting to much fiber on to start with