Drum Carding From Locks

A few weeks ago, I found a pretty good deal on etsy for some washed Corriedale locks. I love Corriedale. It’s probably my favorite wool to work with (that I’ve come across anyway, I am still trying out new wools whenever I can.) I have long been wanting to play with locks on my drum carder, and while I have plenty of fleece stashed around, I haven’t really had the time or energy to wash it properly. (Horrible, I know I shouldn’t let it sit.)

The locks I got were a bit yellowed and tippy.
corriedale locks
But, the crimp was darling and the strength in them was fantastic. If I had a flick comb, I would have flicked out the ends, but since I don’t, I just picked the locks apart pretty thoroughly. There was still a bit of vm in these locks, but no too much. Most of it came out all over my table in the picking and carding process.

I ran the picked and opened locks through my drum carder sideways. I didn’t weigh them out first, as I had 8 ounces and was planning to give the whole lot the same treatment. My first batt ended up being about 2.5 oz.
first round
It’s a start.

Then, I pulled the batt apart and ran it through the drum carder again, this time pulling the batt apart in strips and fluffing out the strips and getting some more air between the fibers.
round two
This batt looks much smoother and fluffier than the first, but the fibers were still not quite blended enough for my tastes, so I repeated the process again.

round three
After a third time through the carder, I was really pleased with the texture of the batt and the distribution of the fibers. This is a super spinnable little batt. However, I am not all that pleased with how peachy it is because of the yellowing of the wool. My plan is to slowly card up the rest of the locks in this manner–slowly because it’s really hard to turn my drum carder without standing at a funny angle so I don’t hit my giant belly with the handle–and diz it all out into roving, and then dye the lot.

Besides the yellowing, I really like how this came out. It makes a girl feel a little powerful, turning some dirty looking locks into usable, perhaps even pretty, fluffy spinning fiber. I’ll keep you updated as I continue the project!

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