So what is a girl to do that loves playing with fiber? She gets new toys now and again… even if she really has all the basics covered. Really. I mean do we all need one of everything out there? Well, in this case finding a solution that was relatively cheap, or at least cheaper, was a blessing.
So we all know I have sheep and love my babies. But when it comes to cleaning wool yourself? Well, can I say there are things that rank higher on my fun meter. It has been quite the chore to clean John’s fleece. And despite many times over it to pick out stuff and then buckets of water. … Well, it is still not great for carding and spinning. So hence, one does need a new toy. Right? One that will make that bit of the job easier. Right?
So in a search, rather by accident, do you think that God doesn’t bring things across your YouTube watch that is just what one needs? I was on YouTube checking out my regulars when a gal was unboxing her new wool picker. So I stopped to watch. Actually just a bit of it as once I got the idea, I went looking myself. And after a few days of talking to my husband, I also went and bought what she had.
So I ordered a box wool picker for less than half of what the nice swing ones cost. When my husband first saw it his comment was, “That looks easy to make.” Well, it does to me as well for someone good with a hammer and putting in nails crooked. I have seen plans for them but alas when I ask my husband about this or that, he reminds me of all he has on his plate. So no, I didn’t ask if he would make one for me. But here it is. One nice thing about it to me is that it doesn’t take up the vertical space a swing one does. Although it is longer.
Now all that this box contains is space on either end of nails aimed in different directions. On the handle top there are nails also facing down back and forth inside. They brush across the top of each other quite closely.
Now why did I deem that I needed this tool?
So can you imagine trying to card the wool above? Can I just say it isn’t the easiest thing on God’s green earth. Not the toughest by any long mark, but still not fun or easy to get a smooth yarn from. So hence my desire for a better tool.
So you take a clump of wool and place it in the “in” end. Now in the above picture, I put too much in and after one pass took half of it out. A bit of a learning curve at how much to put in. A hint – less is better. But you just put a clump of wool in one end then move the top with the handle back and forth and it pulls it through the nails and deposits it in the out end.
So after several passes through, what had seemed like hard masses or wool were becoming cloud puffs. What had fit in a small basket, now needed a much bigger space to rest in.
So the puff cloud against its former self. This was looking quite doable now and didn’t take that long to create the puff. It pulled the fibers apart and spread it out into an easily viewed mass that was so easy to then spread on hand cards and processed to “brush” it smooth and roll up.
I must admit that for all the hand picking and washing I did with this fleece, I was rather surprised at the amount of vm that still came out of it in the bottom of the picker. It still did a job of getting more out of this wool than I was able already to get out.
And was the cost and work worth it? Could I actually spin this wool half decently?
Well, I would have to say yes. This was so much easier to card and then spin. I’m not a perfect spinner with that perfectly smooth all even thread, but I was not disappointed with how this was looking when I spun my first rolag of wool from the picked mass. Now to stay ahead of the picking as it does take up so much more room as clouds than as mashed convoluted wool.
So yes, girls need new toys now and again.