On one of my zillion yahoo-spinning lists, we recently discussed the topic of making rolags without using handcards. I never use handcards, but I like to use rolags, and here's how I do it -

NOTE - I'm fully aware that what I make are not the same as "real" rolags. I'm OK with this. These pseudorolags work just fine, and I love to use them. In fact, this is what I used to spin Anastasia's Socks - which was a very fun spinning project.

OK, so - here's how I do it - - I flick with a kitten brush - very cheap at the pet store -

You can also make pseudorolags out of roving - it's almost exactly like the process above, only without the flicking. Simply pull a staple-length bit of roving (OK, so it's top - let's not have this argument too, heh heh heh) and lay it on the fabric. Pull off another bit, lay it down and etc. The pieces which you are pulling off are whispy, thin bits, not great big fat hunks. It makes a lovely spinning preparation.

If handcards give you problems, but you would still like to spin from a nice, lofty, springy, easy-to-draft rolag, then - here ya go! Have fun!


Walden said...

Very nifty! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thanks for sharing this! I don't know if you've ever tried to handspin bamboo fiber, but I got a bundle of handdyed because it was gorgeous. Little did I know what I was getting myself into; everything I tried to do didn't help ease how absolutely finicky it is. This technique, though, is wonderful, and I've successfully spun about 50 yards of it thanks to making it into psuedo-rolags! Finally I'll be able to finish making the yarn for a pair of gloves.

Rosemary said...

Domiknitrix -

Yay! I'm happy that it worked for you! In the meantime, since I posted this blog entry, I've learned lots of little tricks. I"ve learned to roll it around a knitting needle (pseudo-puni?) and for some fibers, such as my fly-away alpaca, rolling with rather firm pressure to make a tight little pseudorolag can really make a big difference, too.

Happy spinning!

Anonymous said...

I tried it out with the knitting needle, and now it spins even better. Thanks so much for sharing all you do--you're really an inspiration to my learning to spin. I think I've almost got a type of long draw for a drop spindle down now. :)

Rosemary said...

Domiknitrix - YAY! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and tell me this! YAY. Sometimes, the smallest tip can make a huge difference. Every now and then, I'll force myself to spin for the process and not the product, and force myself to do the "pulling taffy" long draw and it's terrifying, lol. However, slowly but surely, I'm getting better at it. Remember, plying solves lots of little inequalities in the spinning. I tell you, the resultant yarn is unlike my usual yarn - it's so boingy and poofy - I love it. I'm determined to get better at it. Anyway, thanks and happy spinning! Rosemary

grace in VT said...

Dear Rosemary, It's grace from VT again. I have to congratulate you on your gorgeous prize yarns!! I won in a novelty division, first prize blue ribbon and this is what the judges wrote" So inconsistent that it makes the design consistent, we love it!" So you never know what judges like!!
Anyway, I wanted to tell you I do a lot of this sort of "carding" and I am going to try your method!! I was spinning them like little clouds and keeping the fibers going in the same direction. However, it looks like with your "rolags" that you may be able to spin and draw with ONE hand? Can you?? Let me know, I just found you tonight and I am so impressed with your wealth of knowledge and wisdom!!! bless you, grace in VT

LonelySaucer said...

Thank you so much for this little tutorial! I just starting flick carding my first fleece, and once I had all these locks carded went "well, now what?" Since I'm spinning a 2-ply Bulky yarn, it was going to be a lot of work just spinning from the lock for 3 inches, then picking up another lock, spinning for 3 inches....This has been perfect, and it's spinning up perfectly! Yay!

LaughingLark said...

Thank you! I have three feed bags full of Suffolk waiting to be washed and spun. This will save me so much time when I'm ready to prepare the fiber for spinning. I'm planning to spin some on my wheel, and some on a Navajo spindle.The pseudo-rolags will be awesome for the Navajo spindle, and I won't have to spend eternity carding all that wool.

Jemima Jane said...

brilliant! thanks so much! I like to spin yarn from odds and ends of tops and roving left over from my felting. I was just fluffing it up and trying to spin from a big bunch of fiber which regularly fell apart! I'm off to try this out - should make life a lot easier!!