Rollin’, rollin’, rolag..

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!)



About patchworkfibers

Registered Jacob Sheep
This entry was posted in Fiber Happenings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Rollin’, rollin’, rolag..

  1. Hey Linda, I’m sorry you unsubscribed too. But I am glad you are still on the Jacoblist. I think people’s different view points are always good to have in a group. Once we all get thinking the same, something is bound to go wrong. And, where will the Jacobs end up if we all stick to what we want rather than what the breed pops up and gives us. I was given my initial Jacobs (I can’t remember, but I think it was around 12??) and they’ve all been very interesting to see what they produce. One of which is a very nicely marked little ewe, Beatrice, who produces beautifully horned babies with excellent markings and blue eyes… She is however, polled. I don’t know if the man who had her before me de-horned her for ease on fencing or ?? but she produces nice babies! I’m sure people would faint if they saw her. 😉
    I’m looking forward to your up and coming post. 😀

  2. I’m still on the jacoblist, just not on the yahoo list. Thanks, guys, for the kind words.

    I like the Prochem Washfast dyes. They are the most economical for doing alot of dyeing. I did get a good deal on a big lot of One-shot/Country Classic/Gaywool (same dyes – different packaging), so have using them lately.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that Polly may not have been a purebred 🙂

  3. Wow!!! What a cool way to process your fiber. How long is the batt before you tear it off? I have been reading up on Acid dyes and want to try that next. What type do you use?
    I have so many ideas and projects in my head but no education. I’m going to have to join a spinning group I think so people can teach me.

    Linda, I’m sorry your have left the group also. Like the others here we value your opinions. If I had a nickle for everytime I stuck my foot in my mouth and said something that unintentionally upset someone I could retire right now. If I have a question that I feel you might have the answer too may I email you?

    Will you post a picture of your black Jacob ewe with no horns, I would love to see that one. 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    I agree with mudranch, I really appreciated your comments on the Jacob Yahoo group and I am very sorry to hear that you unsubscribed. I truly believe that it is the differences that make the Jacob the breed that we all love. I love my sheep that have come from unregistered flocks and the lambs they have produced for us just as much as the pedigreed sheep in our flock.

    Thanks for posting about rolags, I have heard the term but wasn’t really sure why you would spin from one. Very interesting!

    Warning labels crack me up! We recently bought a meat grinder and that has some pretty funny ones on it 🙂

  5. I unsubscribed from the jacob yahoo group. Not everyone took my comment as I had intended and I’m afraid I unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings.
    I used to feel that anyone starting with Jacobs needed to research and start with registered stock. But, then I realized how many of us (myself included) get Jacobs somewhat by accident and then end up getting hooked. Some of these people are now among our most dedicated breeders and assets to both JSBA and the breed. On the other hand, I can remember many people that did the research, spent the money, and started with good registered Jacobs… and lasted maybe two years before selling out. There are many ways to enter into raising Jacobs.
    Keep a watch out for a future post, where “Linda eats crow” and introduces her first “Jacob”, a solid black ewe with no horns 🙂

  6. mudranch says:

    Wow, interesting post! I didn’t know that such a machine existed, and I really like the striped affect you had with the different colors.
    I wanted to say that I appreciated your comments about the Jacob sheep in the recent e-mail posts about un-registered Jacobs and preserving diversity. It’s funny that the lady I bought my sheep from said that she “gave them away.” I paid money, no it wasn’t as much as she had in to them but it was certainly hard earned and now they have a good home rather than going to auction. But, I agree whole heartedly on preserving the breed and it’s diversity. I really like all my un-registered (though, slowly being registered FF with the JSBA) sheep and their different traits. I don’t know their complete history but I guess that’s what kind of attracts me to them, that little bit of mystery and unknown. So, thanks for your comments and not being afraid to voice your opinion about all different Jacobs. 🙂

  7. The only thing I can knit is socks – and that’s because noone can see them under my shoes!!

  8. Wrensong Farm says:

    Well, you may think you can’t knit but you’re light years ahead of me!! I am learning SO much from people blogs and this entry is no exception! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s