How To Card Wool, Four Spinners, Four Techniques
A Video Review
During the holidays, Interweave had a wonderful deal on digital downloads, as I had mentioned last week. I couldn’t resist taking a look and getting four videos for less than the price of two. One of the videos I downloaded was, “How to card wool, four spinners, four techniques.” This was one that I bought on an impulse. It was priced right, too cheap to pass up. I know how to card wool with hand cards, but I have a “Brother Drum Carder” on my mental wish list (shopping list actually), and to be honest, my hand carding skills could be better. I thought this would be a perfect companion, while I can improve my hand card skills, I should learn a lot about using the drum carder.
The four spinners that demonstrate their four techniques are an impressive lot. Carol Rhoades, Maggie Casey, Norman Kennedy and Rita Buchanan detail and demonstrate their carding technique, then there are two guest appearances, Andrea Meilke Schroer and Narcissa Venigas Peres. I especially liked Carol Rhoades and Maggie Casey’s presentation. They both card very differently, but I think I could pick up either of their techniques, be happy with the product and be able to spin a nice yarn from the resulting rolags. Carol has a very traditional approach to carding (I appreciate traditional techniques), and Maggie challenges the myths of some of those traditions. Switching hands with the cards is OK according to Maggie, and the no hand switching rule never seemed to make sense to me (especially if the teeth don’t mesh). I feel like I could easily combine these two techniques, and I think I will just to see. Unfortunately they didn’t have Narcissa do a presentation. It’s a shame, because I think we could learn a lot from her. She cards very fast, and rolls multiple rolags from her cards with a single loading. She was simply videoed from a distance while she was carding. Rita was wonderful, she did things as carefree as possible. While I don’t think Rita’s carding technique is for me, you have to appreciate it. She simply cards a small amount of fiber until it pleases her, then she pulls off the mass and spins it – not a rolag in sight. I found Norman a tad confusing. He spent a good deal of time reminiscing and telling stories, but did manage to get some carding done. I actually enjoyed his stories and his technique for making a semi-woolen sheath. Andrea shows us how to get new cards ready for carding with some 400 grit sandpaper.
The video quality was good, the camera angles and sound were good. I wish they had spent more time with Narcissa, and I wish they had let her do a presentation. One big disappointment is the fact that it’s only hand-carding, not a single drum carder in sight. I assumed since it was “carding wool” there would be a drum carder. It should have been called “hand-carding wool”, but it isn’t and it’s my own fault for assuming there would be a demonstration on drum carding. Blending with hand-cards was not covered either, sadly. While I enjoyed Norman’s stories, I thought they could have used that time for CARDING, he spent a small amount of his time carding. I also wish they spent at least a tiny amount of time spinning the fiber they prepared, it would have been nice to see how their preparations fared at the wheel, or have a different person spin a small amount from each instructor to compare. I like that Carol, Maggie and Rita talked a little about what wool to card and Rita discussed how to handle longer fiber. This is a good video to hone your hand-carding skills, or to compare different techniques, since obviously there is more than one way to do it right. This video does not cover drum carders, blending boards, blending with hand-cards or spinning a woolen yarn.