Tag Archives: drum carding

Get To Know The Drum Carder: New Video!

Abby (center) talks about twist.

Last Saturday was one of those days that makes us feel very lucky to do what we do. Hosting Abby Franquemont, one of spinning’s greatest treasures; and Otto and Joanne Strauch, makers of Strauch drum carders had the store hopping. We all learned something new.

Many of our regulars joined us for the day. Among others, were Liz with her new Sidekick; Tavia with drop spindle in tow; Moe who is a regular in classes. It is such a pleasure to watch students emerge from a class brimming with excitment and new knowledge.

While Abby was teaching a very full house, Otto and Joanne were giving demos on their Petite and Finest Drum Carders.  We know that many of you were not able to make it to the shop. We wanted you to still be part of the day.  Here is a video of Otto and Joanne giving us an introduction to the drum carder.  It is brimming with information on how to turn use a drum carder including lots of tips and tricks.  They show us how to transform fleece into light and airy batts ready for the spinning wheel.  Whose in?

Chris, Nancy, and The Entire Woolery Team


Matchmaking: Picking the Right Tool for the Right Fiber Prep + How to Wind a Pirn

Cheviot Wool Roving

Woolen and worsted—these terms are thrown about a lot.  To hand spinners they have very specific meanings.  Worsted yarns are made from combed fiber preparation (think combing your hair) while woolen yarns are made from a carded preparation (think brushing your hair). As a spinner we have a lot of control over what kind of yarn we make. The secret is all in the preparation. Whether we buy prepared fiber or do the processing ourselves, knowing a bit about the subject will help become better spinners.

Cheviot Wool Top

Prepared Spinning Fiber

We are frequently asked, “What is the difference between fiber top and roving?” Top is combed and roving is carded.  Top has all the fibers aligned (worsted), while roving presents the fibers in a  jumbled array (woolen). Top produces smooth, strudy yarns while roving produces fuzzy, lofty yarns.  There are degrees of each preparation such as semi-worsted or semi-woolen.

DIY Hand Combs and Carders

From left to right: English, Hackle (at rear) and Viking combs.

Combing removes the short fibers, aids in dehairing, and leaves fibers of uniform length. At The Woolery, we stock three basic types of combs: English, Viking, and Hackles.  English combs are an excellent choice for processing large amounts of longish- stapled wool.   Viking combs are  good choice for processing small batches of fiber including short-stapled breeds. Hackles are beloved by many for color blending.

Carding opens up the fibers, distributes them evenly, leaving them in a disordered arrangement.  There are many styles of handcards. Their teeth vary in size. The closer the teeth are  the better they are for fine fibers and inversely the wider apart the teeth the better they work for medium to corse fibers .

There is also the amazing drumcarder.  It cards large amounts of fiber and is an excellent choice for making custom color blends to create unique handspun yarn.  Speaking of drumcarders, we hope you can join us for Strauch Demo Day on February 25.  Don’t worry if you can’t be here, Otto and Joanne will give us a little virtual demo that we will air later.

This barely scratches the surface on the subtleties of fiber preparation.  Feel free to post your questions here or on on our Facebook and Ravelry pages.

Limited Time Special!

To get you started on your own fiber-prep journey, enter coupon cod FHOLD99 at checkout and receive 1 free holding fixture with any in-stock purchase of mini, regular, or viking combs. (Small print: excludes English and Louet mini-combs.)

Before We Move On

Last month we talked a lot about weaving shuttles.  We received a lot of questions about which shuttle is best for what purpose and in particular how to wind a pirn for the end-delivery shuttle.  Check out our latest videos on You Tube for the answers to your burning shuttle questions!  (And, post any ideas for future videos!)


Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery Team

Shuttling In A New Year + Loom Specials, Classes with Abby and Drum Carding Day!

It’s happened again.  We are starting a brand new fresh year.  Our resolve is to play more and worry less!  One way to take the worry out of our weaving is the humble shuttle.  Picking the right one makes our weaving breeze by.

There are three basic types of shuttles.  The boat shuttle uses a bobbin and pin system that allows the weaver to store a lot of yarn and wind it off quickly.

End-delivery shuttles tension the yarn—great for fine yarns and wide warps. Instead of a bobbin this shuttle uses a pirn that that allows the yarn to wind off the end of the storage system.  The yarn is then thread through a tensioning devise so that you have perfect control of your yarn and your selvedges.

The stick shuttle is both inexpensive and easy to use with small looms such as inkle and rigid heddle.  The larger stick shuttles such as ski and rag shuttles are great for bulky yarns.

You simply can not have too many shuttles! Check out our full line of shuttles on our website. To help ease into the new year and get your weaving off to a great start we are offering 5 FREE Schacht shuttle bobbins with the purchace of any boat shuttle.  Just put “Free Bobbins” in the comment section of your order. (Small print: Limit 1 per customer.)

Schacht Cherry Looms: Limited Time Only!

They are back for a short time only!  The cherrylicious Wolf Pup LT and Baby Wolf. Save $50 off the Pup LT and $125 off the Baby Wolf.   We will ship either loom to you for free!  Package includes trap and stroller.  Other cherry accessories are available. Looms start shipping in February.  Only a few looms are left. Call today, to reserve yours!  800-441-9665

Drum Carding Day Febuary 25!

We are excited to host one of the best spinners in the business, Abby Franquemont, to The Woolery.  She is teaching two half-day spinning classes on Saturday, February 25–Silk Singles and Self Striping Yarn.  There is still room left in her classes, but not for long so sign up today!

Otto and Joanne Strauch were so excited that Abby was coming that they decided to pay a visit, too.  From 10-3 on Saturday, they will demo their line of drum carders giving you helpful tips on blending techniques and more.

Whether you are a local, traveling in the area, or make The Woolery a destination, join us for this jam-packed day.  We’d love to see you!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team!