Carding for art yarn

I’ve been practising some new methods for carding fibres for fancy yarns and ‘art’yarns. Using a blending board is good for finer fibres and mixing colours, but I’ve gone back to my drum carder today when making textural batts.

Peeling the batt of the carder drum

Once I’d made the first batt I couldn’t resist spinning it into yarn. I decided to use my Ashford Traditional (Hamish) which my handy husband helped me convert to a double drive. It’s worked really well so far, but I seemed to have problems today.

I searched for help on the internet and found these sites useful:

The yarn would not draw onto the bobbin, it over-twisted and the flyer kept falling off. I was getting very frustrated.

So back to basics, I took the flyer apart and reset it. I then decided the drive band was too loose, so that came off and was re-tied. Still rubbish. Then I realised I had the bobbin in the wrong way round, with the drive band on the large whorl! Problem 1 solved, it now took the yarn onto the bobbin. But the flyer was still dropping off.

Now it was time to address the maidens – I’d noticed they were a bit loose and easily swiveling around. Whilst tightening the back one (it has an open-top bearing so doesn’t need to swivel), I noticed that the mother-of-all was also a bit wobbly, so tightened those screws as well. I’ve left the front maiden free to swivel so I can remove the bobbin easily.

Which goes to show you should check everything before you start or suffer the consequential frustration!

I couldn’t bring myself to stain the new double drive flyer and bobbins to match Hamish’s finish (not my choice, he came to me secondhand). They are waxed instead.
Up and running…