Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pink Fluff and Farm Pics

We all seem to be having a bit of a struggle to get back in the swing of things after the holidays. I guess it was just too relaxing around here over the Christmas/New Years break.

Well, since moving the carder into my store area, I've been working at getting this batch of pink fluff completed. The store area has a lot less static than the rest of the house, due to our heating area, so I hope it will increase my production of fibre this winter.

What starts as 70% washed fine white alpaca, 20% white merino top and 10% handdyed silk (Merlot).....

gets put through my Patrick Green electric carder twice...

During the first pass, most of the bits of hay or any little second cuts get thrown off and the initial blending takes place. I do about 80 grams at a time and make a bunch of 'first-pass' batts. Then, I strip the 'first-pass' batts to refeed through the carder for the second pass. The second pass throws almost all remaining bits of matter and improves the blending of the colours.

Usually, I pull the fibre off into rovings. I spun for from batts for a long time, but customers mostly prefer rovings.

So, this ends up as pink fluffy rovings....

This looks like cotton candy in real life.

I've been back at the weaving studio. I've put a lovely scarf warp of heron and mint dyed alpaca. I hope to get pictures here soon.

Here's my little Vivaldi, looking through the pen gate. Keep in mind that he has already had his morning pellets. Can't you just picture him as Oliver Twist in the orphanage scene "Please, Sir, I want more?"....


Azure Islands Designs said...

Happy to hear you had a relaxing holiday...I know it is hard to get back into the swing of things!!!

Great shots...I like that you have given us an idea of what it is you do to produce your gorgeous rovings!!! What a pretty color...

Vivaldi is so cute...

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Thanks Heather.

Yes - Vivaldi is a real cutie. And he DOES actually have ears although it doesn't look like it in that shot!

Take care.

Elisabeth Fortin, AlpagAdore said...

Hi Norma,

Now this is quite inspiring!!! My carder (the same one) has been sitting in my office since we moved 2 months ago. I really have to get back to it and make some roving! Is that the "Roveguide System" that came with the carder? I don't have it and was wondering what it was? Or is it what they call a "diz"?

Thanks for the "motivation" :)


Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

I just call it a diz (although thanks cause I couldn't for the life of me remember that name when I wrote the blog yesterday).
Mine came with my carder when I bought the carder used....but I don't know if it was with the original purchase from Patrick Green.
Careful, because I ordered a 'diz' site unseen before and when it came, it was a beautiful piece of woodwork but the hole was tiny, tiny...maybe it was meant for silk or something, but I couldn't use it. Let me know if you want me to take a picture of mine to email to you with a measurement so that you end up with something useable.

Thanks for dropping in.

Sharon said...

Hi again, Norma-
Lovely chickens. Aren't silkies wonderful? Such good mothers. I'll bookmark your blog. I am having a lovely time trying to decide whether I want a homogenous flock or a mixture of interesting hens.
Take care,
Sharon U