In the fiber world there are process people (who love the journey), and product people (who endure the journey to get to the destination). I am decidedly a product person, but occasionally I have a whole lot of unexpected fun along the way. Like today...
My friend Jes owns the biggest, baddest electric drum carder this side of a professional fiber processor - the (tum ta ta!) Patrick Green SuperCard. I was needing the services of a powerful drum carder so I called Jes and she has graciously offered to let me use her boss machine (for a very fair negotiated fee). I'd never used an electric carder before so today she gave me a lesson and I got some beautiful fibers blended. I am making alpaca/Jacob blend batts at a ratio of 75%/25%. And I'm taking them to sell at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on the first weekend in May.
They are coming out delicious. Because I'm blending fiber that has already been processed into roving, the batts only need one pass on the drum carder. That helps a lot. Mostly today I did black alpaca with light Jacob, but I am going to try different combinations. I have light and dark Jacob to blend with fawn, black, or dark reddish brown alpaca. Lots of potential combinations. I'm also toying with the idea of adding sparkle to some of them. Whatcha think?
I own my own manual drum carder, but as I say, it's a very tedious journey to the destination, and this electric drum carder really takes a lot of the just-shoot-me-now tedium out of the job. Lots more immediate gratification when you see that finished batt. Yummm. Now, don't go jumping to any conclusions - I have no intention of ever buying one of these honkin' carders. I hardly ever have to card large quantities of fiber, and if I have to do a small quantity, I will drag out my own manual Strauch carder. But time is short to prepare for MDS&W, so I've called in the cavalry on this one.
If I have fiber left over after the festival, you'll be the first to know of its availability. I really love batts. These are... wonderful.