Last spring, about five minutes before it became apparent that we were going to be moving at the same time we were planning a wedding, which also turned out to be the same time we found out we were having a baby, I bought a drum carder!
When I bought this machine almost a year ago now, I had great aspirations to become the best batt maker in the world! I was going to sell millions of them to needy spinners and felters everywhere! If you’ve visited my shop lately, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t have any batts listed for sale. That’s because it turns out I kind of suck at drum carding. I’ve made a few batts here and there over the past few months, but I’m not satisfied. I’m obviously doing something wrong.
Here’s one from the side:
I like the way the blending turned out, but if I saw a listing for this guy, my first thought would be, “Eh, looks a little thin.” That’s because it’s not even 2 oz. Kind of a dinky batt. But when I was making it, I could have sworn that I had my drum as full as it could go. And I know I should be able to make a batt that’s at least 3.5 oz on this carder.
Here’s the top view:
From this view, my problem seems to be that I’m loading up the sides, but neglecting the middle, though I couldn’t have told you that while it was on the drum. Hour glass figures are not flattering on a batt, especially not one for sale.
I’ve been busy enough the past few months to get away with avoiding Mr. Drum Carder. It was in a box in the basement half the time I owned it, so it was easy to forget that I just wasn’t all that great at drum carding. But as I’ve been unpacking, I’ve been rediscovering all of my raw fiber. Take this mohair for instance,
it really wants to be blending with some silk and fine wool. It’s begging to be, in fact.
So I’ve been doing a little bit of research, and watching some youtube videos, trying to figure out if I’m doing something wrong, or if I just need a little bit more practice, and all signs pointed to just needing to get to know my machine more. Then I came across Sideways, and it was like the Yarn Harlot was telling my story.
Next time, maybe I’ll actually card something!