Since I now have a full bag of washed fleece, 2 pounds and an ounce of it, it is time for step 2.
The next step is pre carding. Or flick carding. I don’t have a flick brush and don’t care to go get a dog brush, so I read a bunch on pre carding so I could just use my hand cards for this step. The purpose of this step is to get rid of any leftover vegetable matter, dirt, and second cuts before hand carding and making rolags for spinning. I spent all Saturday morning on this step, and it doesn’t look like I got very far at all.
First, I find a lock of wool.
The lighter part is the tip and the darker part is the base of the lock. I then hold the base firmly, and put the tip in one hand card, brushing the tip.
The tips are a bit bleached, and have a little bit of yuck in them. Once I pull it through the comb, it opens right up, and the dirt falls out and is left in the comb.
Then I have to turn around and do the base of the lock, so I gather those tips back, and put the base on the comb.
Once I pull it through, I’ve got a lovely bit of combed fiber, clean, with all the fibers aligned properly.
I add this to a different bag. Remember when I said I worked all morning on this and it looks like I got nowhere? The second bag shows that I really did work at it.
Bug was also very interested in being part of this process. While I am not ready to let her flick the locks, She was active in switching out my combs and removing the dirt, debris, and junk fiber from them. She was also very interested in keeping all the junk fiber to pad her dollhouses in wonderful softness. There is fiber literally everywhere right now!
I stopped this process after dye day was over, as my shoulder had gotten quite sore from the use of new muscles. I might try to dedicate a night a week to this process now, in order to know that it will eventually get finished. I’ll just have to find a way to contain the junk it produces rather than ruining my furniture!