This week was the Mr. and my wedding anniversary. As crazy as things have been we really did not plan to do anything nor talk about gift giving and such. While we are not much of the surprise giving kind of couple the Mr. did hit me up with a big one this year.
I’ve talked about getting a drum carder for a couple of years now and have been thinking more seriously about it recently. For a couple of years now to process my wool to spin I have been using my Ashford hand carders. For me the process is slow, clumsy, and I can only do small amounts of wool at a time. I wanted something larger and a bit speedier. Not being quite at the point of actually researching exactly what kinds of carders are out there, the Mr. asked me a few weeks back what type I wanted and I just could not give him an answer. Afterwards, I never gave the question another thought nor thought why he even asked to begin with.
Two Monday afternoons ago a big box arrived at the house and much to my dismay (at first) I knew right away what it was. The packaging was covered with several tiny “Ashford, New Zealand” logos all over the box as well as a giant label saying quite clearly that is was a carder. The “dismay” part came from the fact that I’m very particular about my tools and it really isn’t like the Mr. to go out and make a pricey purchase for something he knows nothing about. It turned out that he had spent several hours watching YouTube tutorials and reading carder reviews to find out what brands were out there and the different types of carders spinners were using. In the end I’m now the proud owner of an Ashford 8inch (20cm), 72 point fine drum carder.
It’s a bit too early for me to create a review. I have only used one other drum carder twice in my life and it was a number of years ago, so I don’t have a lot to go by. Straight out of the box it did require a bit of assembling but the instructions they provided were very straightforward. Ashford also provides tutorials on their own YouTube channel on how to use their products, including some fun ways to use the carder. I managed to do a few tests (pictured below) and found out that while it’s very fun to card (it’s almost like painting with wool) it’s not as easy as it looks. I have a great appreciation for the fiber artists who create those lovely art batts. I look forward to learning how to use this carder. So far the Mr. did a good job picking out this carder.
Future projects include dying up and processing wool for a sweater spin. I also want to try several sock spins. I’ve collected different types of wools for these projects over the years and look forward to giving them ago.