Rolag?? “a preparation of rolled fibers presented to the spinning wheel oriface in a perpendicular manner for the purpose of spinning a woolen yarn” – that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Rowdy Yates cracking a rolled coil of wool instead of a bullwhip? A kinder, gentler Rawhide? Naw.
I was playing around on the drum carder, working to get a preparation that would spin up as lengths of separate colors. It’s a yarn that sells well and I usually spin it by picking random lengths of fiber as I spin. I tried all sorts of ways of loading the drum carder to get the random lengths. Nothing really worked well. Then I remembered an article from Spin-off – maybe 10 years or so ago – for making rolags from carded batts. I believe it was written by a monk, but need to go through my old Spin-offs to be sure.
Three colors of fiber are fed side by side through the carder….(careful now, no fingers 🙂 – I love all the warnings that came pasted on the carder. I feel so brave when I use it.)
Here’s the carder with fiber loaded:
Off the carder and ready to roll 🙂
Take two narrow flat strips and place one under the batt and one over the batt like a batt sandwich. I use metal lease sticks from one of my looms. Anything will work, but narrow and slick works best. You must use two strips.
OKAY – roll ’em up!
Hold the rolled part flat with one hand and grab the batt with the other and pull to tear off off the rolled part:
Give it one more roll and pull out the rods – one at a time..
Elongate and spin! I usually spin roving, top, or straight from teased fiber. I’d forgotten how pleasant it is to work with a nicely prepared rolag. Spinning from a rolag is a floating, lofty sort of activity that produces a bouncy airy yarn.
I added a thin layer of silk as the last layer on this blend…
A knitted swatch comes out with tiny bits of silk showing up every so often (I can’t knit, so overlook the stiches!)