Drum carders are built for blending together different fibers. This batt is a blend of undyed Corriedale, silk, and alpaca.
The batt comes off the carder as a rectangular sheet of blended fibers.
It can be spun as is by working back and forth across the shorter side. You can also tear off strips along the longer side and spin each strip. And yet another way is to reshape the batt into roving and then spin the roving. Here’s the process for converting a batt into roving.
Step 1 Separate the batt into connected strips.
Start by separating a strip from the batt along the length, but stop before the end of the batt. The strip should be slightly wider than the width of the roving you’d like to spin.
Also, the length of the unseparated part at the end of the strip should be roughly the same as the width of the strip.
Now make the next connected strip by working in the opposite direction.
Continue making the connected strips until you reach the end of the batt.
At this point, the batt has been separated into one long strip, but it is not nice and smooth around those turns.
Step 2 Next, predraft the fiber to smooth things out.
As when you’re predrafting roving, keep your hands close enough together and pull gently so that you don’t separate the fibers completely. It takes a little practice to get the fiber around each “turn” to predraft into a nice smooth piece.
Here, the top row and the first turn have been predrafted. The resulting roving is narrower, fluffy, and less compressed.
When you’re all done, you have a beautiful roving and are ready to spend some quality time at the wheel (or spindle)!