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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Wool Noob: to Comb/Card or Not to Comb/Card Wool Roving? on: June 26, 2016 11:45:05 AM
So, I'll pop up to the first post first, then get into more of the questions in a bit.
The first hoop looks like it's just simply looped.  I would imagine it is somewhat felted, otherwise it would just fall apart with little effort.  (Someone comes along and pets it a little roughly... A kid or cat bats at it...) The second definitely looks like a thick and thin hand spun yarn.  It can be a bit tricky to achieve that regularity at first, but with practice it's not so difficult...
The first one looks as though it was made of WOOL TOP.  Roving and wool top are similar, but only because they come in long rope like structures. That's the only thing they have in common.  You'd want the wool top, with the fibres all running parallel for that same look. The roving isn't nearly as smooth, since the fibre run every which way.
For blending colors, you can do that successfully on a set of combs, but the trick is here, that when you do this, the fibre is a lot lighter and less compact than you get from commercial top. Which then would be even more prone to just simply disintegrating if you looked at it the wrong way.  Your best bet for adding color is to either dye it, or buy it in many colors, strip it into thin bits lengthwise and layer them as you like. 
As for the dyeing, even koolaid or wiltons gel food colouring works well.  You get unpredictable results, but they are safe for any pot, and a good place to start.  As soon as you get into the acid dyes (Best for protein fibres) you have to have special pots, and a lot more safety equipment. (gloves, masks, aprons, etc..)
Hopefully some of that is helpful Smiley

Yes! That was all super helpful! I've purchased some roving, because I wasn't too sure exactly what was used in that top photo. But I didn't get too much of it. Maybe I'll mess around with it while I get started. And I'll get the wool top as that gets used up. I might have to resort to already dyed top until I get more familiar with the material. Then I can start trying to dye some of my own.

The bottom photo, did the artist just take the wool & spin it tighter in some places? Is that why it looks the way it does? That seems like a lot of learning to do! Not to say that I couldn't learn, but I think I might me a long ways from that. But it's a goal to set for myself in the future!  Cheesy

By the way, thank you so much for your help! I really do appreciate it. And I'm glad I didn't spend too much money on the incorrect material to use. That was a close one! Lips sealed
2  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Wool Noob: to Comb/Card or Not to Comb/Card Wool Roving? on: June 24, 2016 09:31:28 AM
Those are really cool dream catchers! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

The second photo looks like the roving has been felted in some spots and left natural in others. Felting is super easy to do and you don't need any special tools- just hot water, soap and some friction!

I dye roving all of the time, and if you already have roving, it doesn't need more prepwork to dye. Just don't agitate it too much while it is wet and it should stay together. 

The dog brushes could be used to comb everything out after you dye it, just to make sure everything is nice and fluffy  Grin

Ah! Thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate it! Grin

I'll have to find some videos or something to see how to felt the roving. I'm really excited to be creating something again. It's been a long while since I've felt passionate about a project. And the community help makes it even more fun for me!

I was reading over some of the threads in the "dyeing" forum to see how y'all do it. Is the hot water/vinegar bath first still the best way to go about? I know you can purchase already dyed roving, but I think it might be fun to make some of my pieces a little bit more mine. I love that whole tie-dye look, so I think it could be fun to maybe try & apply a similar effect (might take a good deal of trial & error, though). What is the best dye you've used with roving so far? I'm completely new to this whole side for craft-making, so any & all tips are welcome! Huh

Oh, & as soon as I've got a couple of complete projects, I'll post them up. You guys can let me know what you think! Cheesy
3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Wool Noob: to Comb/Card or Not to Comb/Card Wool Roving? on: June 19, 2016 07:41:02 PM
I think both photos are great. I like the first one better, but that's just my opinion. I agree, the second one looks like some super chunky homespun.

I think blending of fibers is usually done by carding, but you could always do something like dip-dyeing to get a multi-color effect. It looks like the first photo is actually two different solid colors stacked on top of each other with two separate hoops and not blended though. I don't see how additional carding could do any damage, but I think roving is typically carded on a wheel instead of paddles (again, I don't have much experience with processing wool, so I'm not certain), so it would perhaps need some super special tools to do it the most efficient way.

For experimenting a while back, I bought a couple of small dog brushes that are very similar to carding paddles, but suuuper small. Just to try it out. I know some more experienced fiber artists would probably shudder at my use of pet brushes, but I think it was enough to give me a feel for what to expect on a smaller budget. I'd like to get bigger paddles in the future, but I'm still playing around with a ton of different crafts and haven't finished much spinning, so it is hard to justify the pricier purchases.

Still hoping some more experienced fiber artists will chip in their two cents. Give 'em a few days to find this post and I'm sure you will get some feedback Smiley

Okay, so now I am super intrigued about dip-dying my wool. How would I go about doing that? What state would the wool need to be in for me to do that? Or can I just do it with white/natural color roving? That sounds like it could be a lot of fun, & would make my projects a lot more mine. I've come up with a ton of ideas as I wait for all of my supplies to get to me.

I was thinking about blending the different colors together, because I want my pieces to be different than that top photo. I know how she did it, I just don't want to seem like I am stealing her idea & slapping my name on it (she's a friend of mine, too, so that wouldn't go over so well - hence why I am reaching out to a community of strangers for help instead of just asking her). I have other ways I am going to make mine different, but the more different, the better. And I'll give her a shoutout for the initial inspiration (which is true).

By the way, I totally thought about buying some small dog brushes, too. Haha. They look just like the brush I used to use on my husky for his crazy undercoat. Probably frowned upon by the pros, but if it does the job I need it do, then that's alright by me!
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Wool Noob: to Comb/Card or Not to Comb/Card Wool Roving? on: June 18, 2016 10:30:18 AM
First of all, welcome to Craftster, gypsysoulrose! I'm glad you have joined us.

What form is your wool fiber currently in? Usually "roving" is already combed and carded. The first image looks like someone just took ready to use roving and attached it to the hoops - maybe splitting the roving into smaller chunks. Hopefully some more experienced fiber folks can chip in their two cents, but I don't see why you would need to process roving anymore to achieve that effect.

I love the dreamcatcher idea, by the way. You will have to share you finished project when you are done!

Thank you & thanks so much for your response! Combs & cards are just so expensive. So I thought I might ask the pros for their opinion before spending the money (& now I can just use that cash towards more roving & decoration). Using wool is a completely foreign craft to me. So I truly appreciate your help. The form the wool is in is just classified as roving (& from all of the internet research I've done, it matches that definition). It's just one long, (sort of) thick strip of wool. It does look to be already combed out, as soft & as uniform as the wool looks.

I definitely will post photos of some finished work once I've got 'em! I'm even considering some weaving for a couple of them, too. I'd like to stand out a bit against my inspiration, make them my own creations. I'll be back soon! Smiley

P.S. What do you think about the second photo? Same thing, roving & maybe some spun wool yarn to give it a more textured look? That's what it looks like to me.

P.S.S. Is there any way to blend two different colors of roving? Can you do that with a card? Or will it just degrade the fabric, since it's already so brushed out?

P.S.S.S. If anyone else wants to share their thoughts, I'm all for it! Help a newbie out! Cheesy
5  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Wool Noob: to Comb/Card or Not to Comb/Card Wool Roving? on: June 17, 2016 07:34:57 PM
I've just recently found myself inspired to create some dreamcatcher-like projects made with wool roving. And I know this doesn't really pertain to spinning, but I don't know where else to find the answer to my question. Undecided

However, I'm not sure if I should come or card it, or if I should just leave it the way it is. Since I can't attach any photos of the inspiration for reference, hopefully that link below will work & the two photos I uploaded will show up. I just don't know whether or not I should invest in the tools to comb or card it (or both). Any help would be super awesome! Thanks!

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