Yesterday was amazing. The weather was downright balmy for November, and while I did get a bit of knitting done after the stockings, I also spent time in the yard, and did a little drum carding. So, last year at the IA Sheep and Wool festival I picked up a jacob fleece. At the time I didn’t know a ton about fleece choosing, but was obsessed with my brown CVM/Romeldale fleece and knew I really wanted a jacob fleece. I chose one at the festival from a booth. It was cheap, not too large, and I grabbed it up barely looking at it and, quite frankly, crowing over my discovery. I washed it soon after.

Let’s be honest, it isn’t the nicest fleece I own. There were a lot of burrs in it, big prickly pieces that really did make for difficulty even washing it. It is dirty, even after a good wash. It has a fair amount of VM, but more annoyingly the tips are yellowed pretty well and it wasn’t skirted all that well, so there are differences in wool quality and feel.

Well, I’ve been grumbling about this fleece since I sorted it a couple weeks ago. Flick carding and then drum carding is such a lengthy process and it felt terrible to think of spending that much time on a sub par fleece. However, I still wanted to get something out of this fleece. This begged the question: Can I drum card without flick carding? And the answer was yes. Of course, the wool has to go through the drum carder a few times after that initial run through, but the answer was favorable. The tip I heard was that I should feed the unflicked locks over the top on the large drum rather than through the tray. I gave this a try and let me just say it works beautifully! The VM and dust just fell out of the bottom of the carder, and the initial batt had promise. A couple more runs through the carder and I had a batt I could truly be proud of!

This is from the dark wool I separated out. The batt is surprisingly soft and lofty. Since I did not flick card, there was quite a bit of waste left on the small roll, but I saved all I could and am now quite excited about the prospect of finishing up this fleece!


The other stuff I worked on…well I decided that this year all three of us should have felted slippers. My adventures into felting haven’t always gone so well and my desire to felt has always been pretty low. However, the prospect of thick felted slippers in the dead of winter is a promising one. I am working on the fiber trends felted clogs pattern. I started with Jeremy’s slippers, assuming since this is the largest, the rest would go quickly. I have knit the majority of the slipper, including the outer sole, but attaching it has proved complicated so I’ve given them a rest. Add to that the problem of my hands falling asleep when using large needles, and using large needles exclusively for the last week, I do think I need a break.



Not sure what I’ll knit on next, but pretty sure it will involve something already on the needles rather than starting some new project. Also? I get to spin again!

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