Oh Louie Louet!

Have I mentioned before how wonderful my lovely husband is? Of course I have but it should be mentioned again. He is pretty awesome. He has surpassed himself this time by getting me a drum carder for finishing my exams. I spotted a Louet drum carder on ebay going for a bargain price and ended up getting it. I feel a bit guilty about the whole affair really.

It arrived packaged very securely in a big box this morning. The postman arrived at the ungodly hour of 7.45 and woke me up so he only had himself to blame for the sight of my bed head that greeted him at the door. Since I was up I decided to unpack it and it looked great, I decided to grab some alpaca fleece and try to card it. This didn't go well. I couldn't get the fiber to latch on to the carder at all and managed to scratch the table as I hadn't secured the carder to the table properly with the clamps.

Let's back up from this disaster and have a quick cup of coffee and look at why I wanted this carder in the first place. Carders are cool machines that align fiber for spinning, they also blend different fibers and colours making a fiber preparation called a batt. They are expensive but they tend to last forever so they're an investment that can be used for a long time. See how I convinced myself? They are quicker than hand cards and batts are lots of fun to spin from. The drum carder I got is a Louet Classic carder, it's got a coarse cloth with 46tpi, the tpi refers to the number of pins or tines per inch. Intertwined, the bible of art yarn spinning, recommends this carder for crazy carded batts as it will deal with whatever you put into it. I want to make mad batts so I was stalking ebay and keeping an eye out for a Louet classic as a new one was definitely out of the price range. I've been looking over a year and haven't seen one. The cheapest new carder I've seen is an Ashford but they don't suit art batts so when the Louet popped up on ebay I jumped at it.

After coffee and figuring out if I could blame the table scratches on the dog I set up the carder outside on the crap plastic outside table. I realised I'd been turning the handle the wrong way and magically the fiber started feeding onto the drum.  After some messing around I carded a batt of white alpaca fiber and then did a batt of brown alpaca mixed with some various bits of greenish merino and a tiny touch of sparkle.  It's a little more brown than the photos. It turned out pretty well for a first go, it looks spinnable from anyway. It's called Forest Nymph which is a bit whimsical for me but that's what came to mind when I finished it.

The carder will help a lot with processing the alpaca fleeces.  I'm hoping to wash and dye the fleece in batches then blend the colours and card them using the carder. I'm also keeping fabric scraps and cast offs from Penneys and stuff to use in funky art batts. Can't wait.

It's got to the stage that with all this fiber stuff and know how I've collected over the last year or so I'm thinking that this hobby should start paying for itself. I'm hoping to set up an Etsy shop at some stage this summer, watch this space for that.


6 Responses to "Oh Louie Louet!" (Leave A Comment)

Dulcinea says
May 17, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I got a Louet drumcarder from Ebay last year, it's loads of fun! Don't feel guilty, God knows there are worse things to spend money on : D

Irene says
May 17, 2010 at 4:27 PM

the colour is simply delicious, it looks like a forest floor. Beautiful!

Sinéad says
May 18, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Great post title :) I look forward to seeing all the wonderful fibre you come up with! I bet they'll look great. Oh and did the dog get the blame for the table? Poor Westley. :)

eimearee says
May 18, 2010 at 5:47 AM

Ahem. I think admitting on your blog that you're going to blame the dog might blow your cover. Love the drum carder!!

WorstedKnitt says
May 19, 2010 at 12:42 AM

That looks lovely! Well done on deciding on an Etsy shop, too.

Laura says
May 20, 2010 at 4:15 AM

Yeah you! Have fun with your drum carder! They are lots of fun!