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 (http://www.woolery.com/store/pc/Howard-Brush-Hand-Cards-p4324.htm). 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.