The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I am trying to prove that adage incorrect.
One of the breeds that I ordered for Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em was raw Florida Cracker. Not having much success in the past with raw fiber, I was determined and watched several YouTube videos, talked with some more experienced folks and tackled the job. Four washings, several rinses, a good drying, and I had a box full of locks with lots of tips that were tightly and stiffly bound together.
I don’t own combs or a drum carder, just hand cards and a blending board with an extra flicker brush.
Last night, I tackled the box and started producing rolags. Now mind you, I am no expert with the hand carders, I “use” them when doing demonstrations for living history as a spinner, usually only having roving on hand and pretending to prepare the wool into rolags from which I then spin.
My first card full left me with hard tips still in the rolag, FAIL. Then I started opening the tips with the flicker, turning the lock around to loosen the cut end and filling the carder. I was producing rolags, not very pretty, but usable.
The fiber releasing quite a bit of grit as I card it, but is spinning into a nice even relatively fine singles. The finished yarn is going to need not just a soak after finishing, but a good wash.
I think my next fiber preparation equipment is going to be combs.
Lesson learned is that you can teach an old dog new tricks, but more practice is needed. I have a raw Jacob fleece awaiting my new skills.