If you're into spinning your own yarn, you probably already know what a blending board is. Very much like a drum carder (that you can see in my previous blog post), it has a cloth with sharp teeth designed to comb and align fibres to make them easier to work with. You add fibres to it until the cloth is full, and then you take them out in a special way that I'll explain below.
The main difference between a drum carder and a blending board is that the latter is flat, so instead of creating batts with them, you're creating something called rolags: rolled-up tubes of wool that you can then spin on a wheel or spindle.
Let me begin by saying that having friends in the fibre business can be really bad for your wallet. In the particular case of this blog post, I speak of persuasive friends who enable you into buying new (very expensive) gadgets.
Meet the Strauch Mad Batt'r Double Wide carder.
Here's my latest needle felting commission. Her name is Mathilda, or Mattie for short. She lives with a very nice lady here in England. Her son contacted me to create a sculpture for his mother's birthday and I was only too happy to oblige.
Last week I received an email from my Guild informing me that Mudchute Farm was holding an agricultural event during the weekend, and would some spinners be available to demonstrate their skills?
I'm not normally one to jump at this sort of request (I'm not an introvert but I'm not exactly Miss Social either) but I decided to make something out of my weekend and say yes. It didn't hurt that they were offering us fleece in return...
After speaking with Hazel, our guild liaison, it was decided that I would show up on Sunday. I was super responsible and wrote down a list of all the stuff I needed, and added to it after asking for help on my Facebook and Instagram. I even packed the day before! I must be growing up.
Isn't this a weird post title? Well, it's more or less the absolute truth.
You see, I never had what I call the Princess Dream, that thing where as a young girl I'd imagine myself going through the aisle in white, and then reaching my Dream Guy and getting married to him to live Happily Ever After. I didn't imagine what the dress would look like, or the man, or the place we would live in. The whole thing seemed like a weird exercise to me and I was never able to go with it when friends did it. I just didn't get it.
In fact, after realising the whole ceremony was more or less about a male (in this case, the father) transferring his property (that would be me, the female) to another male, the feminist in me rebelled. "I'm not anyone's property and I'll never feed that absurd machine of fluff and ceremony!"
Well. You can see where this is going, right?
Recently, I got asked by fellow fibre artist Nicole if I wanted to do a collaboration with her.
Nicole wanted me to make some felted flowers that she could incorporate in her spinning - after telling me what colour scheme and how many she wanted, I was left to my own devices. Once she receives them, she'll create some glorious chunky art yarn and add my flowers.