I am not a very patient person. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’ve shied away from hand prepping fiber. But now that I want to learn to hand prep I have to slow down and be patient. I knew that somewhere along the way it was going to be a struggle, and I just found the spot. I enjoyed washing the Bond fleece, didn’t mind the mess or all of the water; I loved the smell. It went pretty quickly, or seemed to because I could do other things in between washing and rinsing.
I assumed I would put the Bond fleece on my drum carder and zip, zip I would have lovely fluffy batts to spin. Not exactly. I made a bunch of errors, all because I rushed. First, I didn’t open up the fiber enough before I ran it through the carder and I got neps, lots of little tangled fibers. After sighing like a teenager denied car keys, I spent more time teasing open the fiber and applying it in thinner layers to the drum carder. There were fewer neps, but there were still neps. More sighing and maybe I stomped my foot. I will shamefully tell you that I tried both original carding techniques multiple times before admitting that they didn’t work.
I sat; I hated on hand prepping; I thought about what causes neps. Neps can happen when a fine, crimpy fiber is treated poorly. If it gets stretched too far, too fast, some of the fibers spring back and wrap around themselves forming neps. I had been operating this prepping expedition with the idea that Bond is like Corriedale. It is, but it isn’t. I went back and looked at my fiber. I pulled out a bit, I held it up to the light, I twanged it and watched it spring back. Then I petted it and apologized. It was finer and more crimpy than Corriedale that I would zip through my drum carder. I dug out my hand cards.
Hand carding made the Bond much happier, but really tested my patience. It takes a long time! Granted I don’t practice much, so my technique is, well, saying it’s wonky wouldn’t be too far off. But I am going to persevere and hand card the rest of the Bond. I suspect by the end of these couple of pounds of fiber I won’t be eye-rolling and head shaking anymore, but just enjoying the ride.