Saturday, March 07, 2015

Noils and carding

A while back, I needed a very fine fleece.  I asked Anna Harvey to go through her stock and send me her "finest fleece".  It was very fine.

Now, everyone knows that I love my drum carder and when I die, I will likely have a tight grip on that drum carder handle.  Yes, they will have to pry my drum carder out of  my cold stiff fingers.

However, that fleece always tended to develop noils when carded on the drum carder - not surprising as fleece that are finer than the breed normal tend to be fragile.  In those days, I was drum carding everything, and when I got the noils, I just set the last half of the fleece aside.

However, I have been spinning woolen from Rambouillet, and  there was that bin of tender, snow white, super fine fleece.  I had the cotton cards out, so I tried carding it on the cotton cards and it works just fine.  And yes, when I run through the drum carder, it gets noils.

I spin it at about 5,600 ypp and 12 tpi, and do not notice the singles as being particularly weaker than the fiber from other  Rambouillet that I have been spinning.

My take away is that there are fleeces that do better being hand carded rather than drum carded.  Anyway, I have 4 or 5 pounds of this stuff and making up a thousand 2 gram rolags is a good way to get very good at making up little rolags.  On the other hand, the bats from the drum carder can be spun rather finely semi-worsted and the noils flicked off of the single with a finger nail before it enters the orifice.  This is an approach that  works for weft and some knitting yarns.

As 3-ply fingering, it knits easily on 00 or 000 to make a soft fabric at 8 spi.  It is not the kind thing that I would knit for myself,  As a 5-ply sport weight, it is a much softer yarn than the worsted yarns that I have been spinning, and  knit it makes a very soft, very very warm fabric.  With all that twist holding it together, it should be a much more durable fabric than any 2-ply mill spun of similar grist.

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