Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New equipment, New plans

I have been reconsidered all of my equipment as my needs change.
I have known for sometime that I needed to electrify carding. Sales were strong this fall, so I decided to invest in a Louet electric carder! WOW! What a machine! My out put now is primarily artyarn and I needed a carder that would hold up to crazy-batt action. The Patrick Green remains for fine carding, but this Louet is a workhorse! I sold my old petite Strauch to help with the financial aspects of equipment. This Louet has identical drums to their standard manual carder. Those of us who attended Camp Plucky Fluff here in Minneapolis fell in love with the Louet.
The carding station is in my dark, but thankfully dry, basement on an old restaurant cart with pull out trays that hold my combs and miscellaney associated with fiber prep. I keep my hand cards next to my wheels for quick fiber prep/re-prep/sudden creative need.
A great find at Office Max led to the color wall for fast composition at the carder. 3 crates for $12! I cut up old boxes to make the dividers and then carded up a rainbow of roving. I had dyed up, over the years, a nearly perfect color mixing palette. Pulling off bits of roving is OK, but it is much easier to compose from airy batts. So, now, with the addition of mohair, bamboo, silk and pretty things, I can "paint" at the carder.

Then I had to reconsider the wheel situation. I sold my last in-the-box-Babe at Christmas, keeping my beat-up, cracked first Babe for sentimental reasons and for demonstrations at art/fiber fairs. Well, I had found too many situations where the generous orifice on the Roberta was too small and the speed and pull too harsh. I looked into a bulky flyer for the Ashford Traveller, but that orifice is smaller. I did not yet want to invest in a Majacraft with a delta flyer. Low and behold, Babe's Fibergarden has started making delta flyers for their Babe wheels!

Many problems are now averted! I have a quill head for the Ashford to do tail spun locksand beads with beehives are much easier on the delta flyer. Phew! an inexpensive fix! The flyer cost something like $84. So I can now happily spin away with the equipment I already have!

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