Wrangling the Herd

My dad always said, “Work expands to fill the time allotted.”

That became very apparent last week when I realized that I had last year’s cotton crop and two unprocessed alpaca fleeces awaiting my attention, while at the same time my cotton plants have an abundance of bolls and the fiber festival is only two weeks away.  If I was to add to my fiber collection, I needed to wrangle the cotton and alpaca into shape, that is, get them combed, carded, and ready to spin.  I attempted to hand card the cotton and realized it was taking forever for just over a half pound of fiber.  I only combed a little of the alpaca fleece when I washed it and that too was very time consuming. It was time to bring out the big guns!

Drum Carder
Drum Carder

Behold … The drum carder!  This wondrous machine turns fluff into long strips of fiber, all combed and ready to spin.

Loose cotton loaded into carder.
Loose cotton loaded into carder.
A batt of cotton after carding.
A batt of cotton after carding.

While it still takes time, I was able to card all the cotton in one afternoon.  It’s taking a little longer with the alpaca just because of the quantity, but the end is in sight.  Soon I’ll be ready for my cotton harvest and I’m already thinking about my next fleece purchase.


3 thoughts on “Wrangling the Herd

  1. It’s made by the Strauch Fiber Equipment Co. Located in New Castle, Virginia. I had a chance to try out one a friend had before I made my decision to buy. Of, course once I tried it I was hooked!

  2. On our travels in search of fiber and tools I had Pam talk me through how each piece of equipment worked. I understood but to see it in action I really understood. I am sure it is amazing how big companies get so much fiber made in to clothes so fast. Pam has done a great job organizing her stock.

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