How to use wool hand carders

Processing wool: step two, Carding wool

When all of your fiber locks have been cleaned and have dried you will be ready to card!

I use louet curved hand carders.

I find that each time the wool passes through my fingers, the cleaner and softer it becomes. 

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your locks may look something like this. 

in this photos the butt end of the lock is facing downward. The butt end of the lock is where the shearer cut the wool from the sheep. 

Hold your carders, one in each hand with the teeth facing downward in your dominant hand, and teeth facing upward in your other. 

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set your dominant handed carder down while you arrange the fiber on your wool carder. 

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starting 3/4 of the way down the carder

Taking one of your locks, you will want to align the butt end with the teeth that are closest to your wrist. Drag the lock gently upward through the teeth of the carder with the tip of the lock extending past the edge of the carder. 

fill your carder with a few locks. 

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Drag your dominant hand carder over the other, brushing the locks outward. 

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your fiber will spread out in the lock formation. 

brush the tips a bit.

Now you have fiber on both of your carders. you will take the carder in the dominant hand and brush it backwards onto the other to remove the fiber from the carder. 

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push the right handed carder to the end of the left handed one.

This will create a hand-carded wool batt.

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gently pull the batt from your left handed carder. 

I like to spin right from the batt, because the fibers are already attenuated, and easily pre drafted. 

sometimes I will roll the bat, and attenuate the fibers where they naturally pull apart from each other to create something that resembles roving. 

I have found that this gives me the worsted spun yarn that I prefer to knit with.

 

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though there are many other ways of spinning fiber to achieve different effects.

You can process the fiber further by rolling them into rologs. 

or you can skip this altogether is you are going to spin directly from locks. 

Goodluck! Stay tuned for step 3!