Thursday, March 5, 2009

Saving Money on Fiber Prep Equipment

As some of you may know, I have been learning to spin. A few weeks ago, I enrolled in an eight-class fiber-preparation course along with a couple of my spinning buddies, Linda and Lynda. The teacher raises her own sheep and sells the wool in various stages of readiness for knitting or weaving. Lynda has had the class before, and has accumulated some expertise which is helpful to the two of us who are newbies to spinning. During the last class, we were given a bunch of fiber to take home and spin. Lynda had a couple of hand combs she uses for fiber preparation. She made them herself.
comb3
Here's a photo of the comb. She put nails in the cross piece, made the handle section, used a router to make a space for the cross piece with the nails, and then glued the cross piece in place.
comb2
Here's another view. She showed us how to use the combs (you need two) on the fiber we were given.
comb1
You place some of the fiber on the comb and push it down so the nails stick up. Then you use the other comb to comb through one way and then another, catching just a little bit of the fiber with each pass.
When it's ready, you use a crochet hook to pull some up through a hole about 1/4" in diameter made in an old sunglass lens. Put the crochet hook down, and gently pull the fiber through the hole, which you keep a few inches away from the lens, so not too much comes through at once. This results in pre-drafted fiber, ready to spin. Monday we go back to our teacher with all of our fiber spun on our drop spindles.
In other spinning news, here's my latest homespun made on my Kromski Sonata spinning wheel. There's about 8 oz. of yarn here. I love the color!
Homespun5b
Happy spinning/knitting, everyone! --Peggy

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