By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilly 23
Like to spin but want to up your skills? I’m returning to my beloved craft after several years away. Spinning directly from roving works well enough. But if you want fluffy yarn that’s a breeze to spin, grab yourself a pair of hand carders and follow this tutorial to make your own rolags. Rolags are small rolls of fiber that you create by hand. The finished rolags are uniform in width and flufflier, both of which make your spinning easier. Plus the fibers are well blended which will give your finished yarn a consistent color.
- Hand carders for spinning
Buy yourself some roving in color of choice. If you’re a beginner spinner wool is an excellent choice.
Gently pull apart the fiber into smaller sections.
Pull off smaller bits of fiber from the section and lay them over the bristles of one carder.
While doing this you may find various bits of debris in your roving. This is normal and is usually bits of grass or twigs from when the sheep was roaming in the field. Just pull out and discard.
You will cover one carder with roving.
With your left hand hold the carder filled with roving. With your right hand hold the empty card and brush over the carder in your left hand.
You will be brushing away from your left hand. The top brush picks up the roving.
The roving becomes blended and combed as the fiber transfers from one carder to the other.
After all of the fiber has been transferred over you can make a rolag at this point.
However, I prefer carding my fiber twice to maximize blending and puffiness. Just switch the now full carder to your left hand and brush with your right once more.
To make a rolag you roll the fiber down from the long edge toward the handle.
Roll the rolag down and then gently lift it off the bristles.
To spin, tease out some fiber from one end of the rolag and attach to starter yarn on your bobbin. I find that rolags spin much easier than roving because of the carding.
Complete these steps until you have carded all of your roving.