Santa gave me wool combs this year to add to my collection of wool processing implements. Combs are different from carders because they keep the fibers aligned and the roving is smoother and I find it much easier to spin it consistently. Combs are also weapons! Be careful not to hurt yourself on them. When you use them, pay attention to where your hands are, where your lap is, and who is near you.
My combs are from Paradise Fibers. I had a lesson a while back from Teira, and more recently I had been checking out youtube videos about wool combing. I have convinced myself that my spinning would be so much nicer if I combed my fleece rather than carding it with my rather rugged drum carder. I’m sure my spinning would also be a lot more consistent (and my stash of fleece would be decreasing nicely) if I sat down at my wheel more often and worked on improving my skills.
This is fleece that I got from Topsy Farms on their shearing day a few years ago. It has been washed (to get rid of sheep waste and foliage) and dried, and now the clean locks are ready to be separated. The locks are like hair that is on its way to becoming dreads–its tangled and a bit knotted together, but with a little bit of work the tangles can be brushed out.
I loaded one comb with locks, and then used the other comb (perpendicularly to the first) to comb through the locks. The combed locks will then be transferred to the second comb. The small amount of fleece remaining on the first comb gets discarded because it is mostly the short pieces and felted bits that will not spin smoothly anyway. Sometimes it takes a few passed through the combs to get the fleece tangle free.
The next step is to turn the combed fleece into roving. I don’t have a diz (a small object with a hole in it meant for turning fleece into roving), but I do have a button that works just as well. I carefully pulled the combed fleece through a button hole to create soft fluffy roving.I wound up the roving into balls, ready to spin. I did all that combing over the span of 2 or 3 evenings! I look forward to spinning it into yarn. Right now it’s not about the finished project. It’s all about the process, the learning, and the experimenting.