She gave me a short lesson on combing - I took along some of the Nasty Romney, thinking that if combing could make that awful stuff look good, it would work wonders on any other fiber I presented for consideration!
If you've never seen wool combs, they are a pretty startling piece of gear - in the same way that a picker is - except on a much grander scale. Spinning seems to be such a gentle craft, peaceful and serene, until you see this:
|Welcome to the dungeon... mwahahahaha!|
Gleaming instrument of torture, one might think. This is one of the pair, clamped down in its base and ready for use. The other one is swung toward the stationary comb once it is loaded up with wool locks to begin the process of combing. Actually it works a lot like combing my own hair, although mine never gets as messed up as the Nasty Romney!
So, I'll load up the comb and get started. Here is the first load of locks from the Nasty Romney that I dyed plum some time ago. I've tried to spin this from a carded preparation, and I'm sick to death of picking out, ummmm "stuff" (it is the most diplomatic word I could think of) while trying to spin this mess. Here is what the first part looks like:
|First load of the combs - |
Nasty Romney about to get what it deserves!
|After the first transfer on the combs|
Next step is to transfer the fiber back to the newly empty stationary comb for the next pass. Further aligning and cleaning the fiber. I was truly amazed at the speed of this process - sure beats picking out all the mess by hand at the wheel! I also started to see a bit of luster from this fiber, which I sure wasn't expecting at all!
So, here it goes back to the stationary comb for the next round of combing. I took a close up so you could see how the wool gets caught in the teeth of the comb and all the fibers are starting to line up.
|Close up of what happens at the tines of the comb -|
could that actually be luster in the fiber?
Thus ended the second pass of the fiber in the combing process. Susan suggested four transfers on the combs for the best result on this fleece. So that is what I did.
|After the fourth transfer - ready to pull off the comb|
|Plum Nasty Romney - combed top|
I thought it was truly amazing... no stuff in the fiber, smooth and pretty! I can hardly wait to spin some of this and see if it spins as well as I think it will! I typically enjoy spinning top, so this should be a far more pleasant experience than this wool has given me up to this point. I'm also very fond of this color, so I doubt that I'll blend it with anything else. So... I'm off to spin some of this pretty wool. I almost feel guilty calling it Nasty Romney anymore - but that is where it started...