WOOL CARDING 101
Last year I started doing a bit of wool felting. My daughter actually started my interest when she made some dryer balls of which I was the recipient of two for my dryer. They work great btw! My daughter, Deb (http://astimeflies.ca/ ) took 100% wool yarn and wound the wool into balls. Just ask Mr. Google about how to make dryer balls for the instructions if you’re interested.
So I started to look around to see what this felting was all about. I was very intrigued by all the different ideas that you could do by felting. Little animals, dolls, purse making, on clothe and many other mediums for wool felting. I searched to see where the closest store was that sold wool. There are a few in my city but the cost was really high for the rovings (as the fibres are called) so I searched sheep farms and came up with Gaspereau Valley Fibres. About a 45 minute drive from where we live. So off we went! (my husband is such a good sport btw!!) ( http://pennofdenn.blogspot.ca/ )
I bought some beautiful wool from Gaspereau Valley Fibres just outside of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. http://www.gaspereauvalleyfibres.ca/ .
The wool I purchased was all washed and carded and probably combed (I’m still learning the lingo here!) so all I had to do was make a cute little sheep with it! The toy sheep turned out pretty good and I loved to stab the needle into the wool (we’re talking about a great therapy here…….just say’in….).
In my search for wool, I realized that one of my facebook friends lived had a farm and there just happened to be sheep on that farm!! I asked Sally if they sold any of the wool. She said they didn’t but she had some raw wool if I wanted it. I was looking for black and she said they had some. We met for coffee at Tim’s ( THE great Canadian watering hole). We visited for almost two hours and it was so good to hear all about her family and especially the grand-babies! After our visit she brought her car over to where mine was parked and said that she actually had brought two bags of wool, one black and one white! I was ecstatic! AND two dozen eggs to boot!!! I thanked her profusely and off to home I went!
As I was driving home I got to thinking, “Now what? I have raw wool and have no idea what to do with it”. Mr. Google comes to the rescue yet again! I found all kinds of great advice on how to wash and prepare the wool, how to card and comb and even spin the wool! Now all I needed was a pair of carders and I was off to the races…..so to speak.
I had a ton of things to do in the next couple of weeks so I knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of time to prepare the wool, but on one site it stated that the wool doesn’t even have to be washed if you wanted to just go right to the carding. So I started looking for carders. That’s when I realized that I really wasn’t ready to make that kind of commitment due to the cost of them. Now what? I had two huge bags of unprocessed wool and I’m too cheap to buy the carders. I kept looking around to see who had the best price. Then one of my Google hits caught my eye. It was one of those question/answer boards and it was about using something else to card with other than regular carders. The lady said that she lived in Africa and could not afford carders but she relied on processing wool for her business. She said that at her local market she found dog grooming brushes with wire prongs and they were really cheap! AHA!!! I knew where I was heading….to the Dollar Store!!!! AND yes, there they were for a buck and a quarter each!! I bought two, brought them home and started carding right away. I had already watched a few Youtubes to see how to do it properly and I was off to the races yet again!! Here are some pics of the raw wool before and after and the “carders” I bought. Btw, I would NEVER use these “grooming” brushes on any animal.
Raw wool on the left, carded wool on the right which turned out beautifully.