Carding Wool

Sometimes I just need to pull wool out of my bins and play with my carders. Today was such a day. This was my first batch. I hand-carded the striped rolags to control the color changes a bit more while spinning. Then I used my drum carder to card the natural gray. The idea is to ply the two together. I don’t know what I’m going to make with it yet, but I love playing with colors! The natural gray is from my Border Leicester ewe, Maggie. The dyed wools are from Purl, Teddy, and Penny. The total is about 8 oz.


A friend is having chemo that leaves her hands very sensitive to cold. I offered to make her a pair - probably two pairs - of fingerless mitts. She likes grays, blues, and purples, so I decided to mix them together. I carded each color separately and then layered them on in the final batts. I can’t wait to start spinning this bunch! The dyed wool is from my white Border Leicester ewe, Crystal, and the natural gray from Maggie, another Border Leicester ewe. The total is about 6 oz.




I had fun spinning the gray/blue/lilac batts. It finished out about 6 ounces and about 520 yards 2-ply. I think it’ll make some very nice fingerless mitts, knitted on size 1 or 2 needles.




May I ask about the work involved from going from photo 1 to photo 2? Are you flicking first, or picking, or teasing? Or does your carder open up the locks for you? How many passes? It looks like you are having very nice results. How lovely to work the whole process with your own sheep fleeces! Thanks for sharing.

I am very much enjoying your process. The yarn has heathered so nicely.

I hand-tease the locks as I feed them into the drum carder. It’s Border Leicester wool, which is pretty easy to card anyway with its long curls. The individual colors were put through twice, then the layered batts were put through once.

I finished the fingerless mitts for my friend. Here’s how they turned out. I’m really happy with them. They are too small for my large hands, but should fit her really well. I started with the Staghorn Fingerless Glove pattern: and then adapted it to my handspun yarn. The yarn looked better on size 1 rather than size 2 needles, so I changed that and added more stitches, plus I added 2 stitches between the “horns” of the cable and I liked that better. I also knitted a shorter cuff than the pattern because that’s what my friend requested.



Thanks - I am impressed with how smooth your batts look and I know that can be a lot of work.

Those are just beautiful Pegg. I love the halo of your yarn and the colors are wonderful. Neat pattern too.

I bought a Strauch carder about 18 years ago (I understand he sold the company earlier this year), and it was the best investment ever. I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool festival and tried out every make and model of carder they had there - literally ALL of them - and the Strauch carder did the best job. Love it!

Thank you!

These look lovely and toasty warm! I’m sure your friend will love them!

Love your process of dyeing and carding! The fiber batts look gorgeous!

I love how this came out! It made a lovely yarn and it’s neat to see the different colors showing up when you look up close.

Thank you @rkennell, the mitts knitted up a pretty heather, and I have enough yarn leftover to make myself a pair of socks. :slight_smile:

Very pretty! I made that pattern once quite a while ago. I love making glittens and mitts. My favorite patten for mitts is called Nalu. Not sure where all it’s available as I downloaded it several years ago.

@KnitsWithHorses, I’ll have to look that one up.

Plenty of yarn left over to knit a pair of socks.



I got the striped rolags spun last night. Now to spin the natural gray and ply them together. They’ll be for socks. This particular gray fleece is on the coarser side. Perfect - hard wearing - for socks, but too rough for a shawl.


You spin such beautiful yarns.