KATIE WESTON, HILLTOP CLOUD
Good to see Katie again, hard to believe its over a year since she was first with us to explore the potential of the drum carder (October 2015).
The workshop participants enjoyed a very busy day with ideas and techniques rolling out one after another (pun intended). Members and visitors were welcome to watch and listen as Katie demonstrated how to add texture to batts, construct striped batts, draw off a roving with the aid of a diz, graduations of colour, adding silk, linen, texture and sparkle, carding fleece and creating punis.
For the uninitiated, a puni is a tight, slim rolag, not to be confused with a fauxlag or a pseudo rolag (Google it)!
Locks of fleece being carded
Top tip from Katie, flick out second cuts from the butts and open out the lock with a flick carder. Just card a small amount at a time. If carding long stapled locks like Wensleydale do not be afraid to cut into manageable lengths with scissors (gasps from the audience). After all the locks have already been cut by the shearer!
Creating graduated batts
Choose a colour family, perhaps, red, orange and yellow. Select a variety of red orientated shades, fibres and textures including fleece, tops, etc and card each section of the colour family using a staple length at a time When the batt is removed it is predrafted and recarded.
Using a diz
A roving can be produced by threading a thin sliver of the batt through a diz and gradually drawing the fibre through.
Creating a puni
Another top tip from Katie: use a knitting needle and a piece of dowel (chopstick) rather than two needles or dowels to roll the fibre. The finished puni can be removed more easily. Just pick up a few fibres in small sections across the carder to start the puni.
Members concentrate intensely as Katie demonstrates opening silk laps ready to be incorporated into a batt. Again, Katie recommended cutting silk into manageable lengths with scissors if necessary.
Thank you Katie for a super day, lots of very positive feedback from members.
You can follow Katie on her Hilltop Cloud website or find more of her ideas, fibres and free patterns on Ravelry, purchase items on Etsy or watch her in spinning mode on YouTube. The You Tube video shows spinning from batts both in londgdraw and shortdraw and demystifies woollen and worsted spinningwell worth a watch.
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