I have been asked to give a bit more detail of how I make batts. There are lots of videos on youtube that I think are very helpful, but everyone has their own method, so although I don't do youtube vids, here is a visual break down of how I make a batt.
First of all I get colour inspiration. Sometimes I use a colour app and play around until I have a combination I am happy with. This is the one used this time
Then I go to the colour store (where the fleece is kept) and choose as close to the colours as I can find.
This is what I came up with. They are all merino. (The colours in real life are a bit different - I never cease to be amazed at how different they look when photographed. These were in natural light as well!)
So next job is to weigh equal amounts of my colours. Sometimes I want a dominance of one colour or two over the others, in which case I just do a percentage calculation. With the colours above, it was equal, so I weighed 25g of each. I usually make 2 batts with the same ingredients, with a total weight of 100g.
Then I start making the batt. I lay out a layer of one colour and then a layer of another. In the combo above I chose to put the red and blue together in layers and the green and yellow in layers.
Then I take the next two colours and do the same. Sometimes I stripe them, but this time I layered. The reason I put a couple of layers on, is so that there is a base of wool to hold in the next funky stuff to be added.
Then I add whatever I fancy to make it a bit more interesting. I go to my goodies box. My daughter made this up for me originally. It contains cashmere nepps, sparkles by way of angelina, gold yarn and lurex, silk caps, odd bits of fibre, and my absolute favourite, sari silk fibre.
When using different fibres to add, especially sari silk fibre, the threads are short, so I always layer it between some fleece, so that it catches on properly.
I also add sparkles in a sandwich, as above, but add the silk directly to the big drum. The reason for this is that the silk threads are long and could tangle, so I wind the drum and as I am doing so, pull the silk cap fibres onto the drum. This is difficult to show in a picture, because you can barely see the silk.
And finally, the batt off the drum. As a lot of the interest is sandwiched, it is a bit hard to see what is going on, but if you could see all the colours and sparkles - well, it is lovely, even if I do say so myself.
So there you have it. A batt from first thoughts to finished. I love creating them. And then I adore spinning them.
Happy New Year by the way. May 2016 be an absolute cracker!
Got all this fluff and stuff, and have decided to make an art batt from it. For Christmas I am getting an Ashford Country Spinner 2, so am making batts ready to make big yarn.
I have the Ashford drum carder with standard carding cloth. It is amazing what you can get on there. I like the idea of the wider teeth on the drums made specifically for arty batts, but have not had any issues with making a batt on here, so not necessary. I feed in little and often and put some of the airy stuff straight onto the drum, or at least sandwiched between fleece so that it doesn't float off. Sparkley yarn is trimmed to little bits and sandwiched, or it just comes straight off on to the feed drum.
This is the resulting batt. It weighs 85g, so pretty pleased with that. Roll on Friday! Not sure yet which art yarn technique I will use, but can't wait to give it a go.
I have lots of other posts planned, but if I don't get round to another one before Christmas, may I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas, and peaceful 2016.