My fleece is finally dry!

Dry Fleece

… and today I got to try my hand at carding, although not literally, thank goodness.  Working an entire fleece by hand with carding paddles does not look very pleasant at all.  Instead, I borrowed a tabletop sized electric drum carder at my local yarn shop.

Drum Carder


It really is a tiny version of the industrial sized cards I posted about last week.  You feed the fleece in from the left, under a small roller (hidden by the brush above) with coarse bristles, from which it’s transferred onto the larger, more finely bristled drum on the right.

Feeding the Fleece

A surprising large amount of fleece fits onto that large drum; here’s how much I got off on the first pass (probably about 5% of my total fleece).

Carded fleece


That lid is about 18″ by 30″, for reference….


I realized after beginning that the whole process works better if you pull apart the little hanks of hair (or french fries, as I’m still calling them internally) before feeding them in.  So curly and pretty!

Pulling apart a hank


It dawned on me today that Maxwell hasn’t made a blog appearance in a surprisingly long time, so – here’s him looking cutely annoyed at the noise of the machine.




(And also the very large volume of fleece I still had left to card….)

Before continuing with the carding, though, I was so excited to have a little bit of real roving of my own that I borrowed a drop spindle, read a quick tutorial online, and spun up a little bit of sample yarn.  It’s pretty terrible – not even at all and maybe over twisted or under twisted or who knows what, but it’s mine, from my very own fleece!


Perhaps I will celebrate by knitting a coaster or a tiny scarf for Bruno.


7 thoughts on “Carding

    • Well, I appreciate the Vote of Confidence (thanks!!) but I’m still not quite convinced how well this will turn out. Washing the fleece and feeding into a machine, I can do. Spinning and dyeing will actually require some skill, and I’ve never tried my hand at either. So I’m trying not to get my hopes up for any sort of finished product, but just focusing one one step at a time (and having fun trying something new).

  1. Sounds like a super fun project! I too, will be interested in what projects you use your very own fleece for.

    • Well thank you. It is fun, and hopefully at least the final product will be …interesting, if not well crafted. Or maybe I’ll turn out to be a dab hand at spinning right off the bat. I can hope, right?

      At least with so. much. fiber. to practice on, I do think that some of it will turn out well. :)

  2. The whole process is fascinating! It is amazing to see how the fleece grows when carded. It seems to shrink back down to a speck when spun. How fun!

  3. Very cool! Wow, after seeing the volume once carded, I can see why doing it by hand would be quite an ordeal.

    • Um, yeah. I didn’t think it would be bad, since the fleece was “small,” but after this experience there is no way I’m ever doing one with paddles. Wow. I don’t see how anyone could, unless they really, really enjoy the process or want to take the slow clothing movement to an extreme…

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