So far our tool tips have included: using a Hackle, what you can do with a Diz as well as a useful Tools Overview. Of course, many of the fiber tools on the market are pretty expensive things, for good reason too, they have to be able to stand up to some major usage with many demands on them for strength and durability. But of course there is much can be done with fiber without needing to spend masses of bucks on that expensive equipment, we can also have a whole bunch of fun with the simple things, like we did with the Diz, and this week, with the humble Flick Carder brush!
Flick carders are a really versatile tool (and don’t forget that for many things you can even substitute a simple pet brush). They are useful of course for things like cleaning the drum carder and blending board, but of course they are also suitable for fiber preparation, and the best tool for doing things like opening up the cut ends of your locks to get them ready to spin, especially those super long locks that are often a bit cotted/matted after being on the sheep all that time. Its simply a matter of ‘flicking’ (yes literally!) the fiber across the tines. You dont want to try to drag the fiber through the tines so much as let it catch and just stroke it across the tips, you are not combing but rather opening up and loosening all those fibers, and this is best achieved by just lightly flicking the fibers open.
You can also play around with effect fiber blending with your flick carder, adding them in as you go! Basically you are using it like a very mini blending board. Load a few fibers on:
include some sparkle:
mix them up by gently picking off the fiber and reloading it onto the tines several times, brushing the fibers across the tines to blend them up as you go. Its fairly hit and miss but you will find it blends up pretty fast, and will give you a more light and open mix than you can get just by hand picking or mixing with your fingers. (its also much faster!)
You can do the same thing with colours:
flick them across the tines and let them catch, do this a few times and you will see the fibers open up and blend together. You should end up with some really pretty colour ‘clouds!
This is exactly a handful of fiber, bits and pieces of scrappy stuff that was hanging around my drum carder. Not wanting to waste it I decided I would see what I could make with just this much pretty fiber! I took a small amount of black silk and hand picked the clouds and silk into one cloud, and then spun it on my drop spindle:
I really like the texture this preparation helps me create! Pops of colour and sparkle through out. I plyed it back on itself:Then I simply crocheted a chain with the full length of the yarn I got from that one handful (wishing now of course that I had measured the length of the yarn!).
Next I finger crocheted that chained length, and tied the ends together to make this!
and it is now one of my favourite things I’ve made! So simple and I love it. And I love my flick carder even more 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this little project and that it triggers some more ideas and projects for things to make with your flick carders too! Let us know what you make!