Monday, September 21, 2009

Fancy Kitty Kitten Motorized Base Review

Here she is, all assembled, the Kitten with the motorized base. When Ron first asked me to testdrive it, I said sure...but seriously I didn't think I needed it. After all, the handcrank isn't exactly hard to turn. After trying it out, I don't see how I ever lived without it! Both hands free to add fiber and doffler it down is really nice! The motor is strong and the speeds are adjustable. It goes forward and reverse. Why is that important? Well, I found the adjustable speed was great full blast for carding up fibers, and then slowing it down for adding my precious Angelina. When I was done with my batt, the slow reverse makes removing the batt a have both hands free! (It'll go really slow too!) I didn't post a pic, but I tried out pulling the fiber off through a diz to make roving...the drum going slow reverse is really great for this! Anyway, above you see the California Red fleece that I prepped with my new hand combs. Came out nice, huh? It was a lot of work, but I really love the wool. It's kitten soft!I decided I wanted to blend it with some bamboo top I had dyed up for a 75/25 blend. It went really fast with the motorized base attachment. I was really surprised. I was even more surprised to find that batts that came off expanded like crazy! They're the biggest batts I've ever done!
Having both hands free, I was able to concentrate more on adding fiber, and dofflering the batts down, so was able to add more fiber. I didn't have any problems with the motor bogging down either!( I was kind of fearful, but it was unwarranted. Like I said, the motor is really strong.) The color is really off in the pics, and Angelina is camera shy, but I have Angel blue glitzy me!

Below you can see some of the batts spun up on my new Bosworth spindle. It's spinning up finer than frog hair! I love spinning from batts! I like to take my batts, split them in fourths, then split the fourths in half. I take that, and roll them into rollrags. Makes for some really nice woolen spun singles. I love squishy yarn! You can see the Angelina a bit in this pic, especially if you double click the pic. You can also see how well blended the batt is. I was very pleased!
So to summarize, I am pleased with the motorized base. I think it's a great asset that can free up both hands and increase your production. I really found this to be true when I ran the batts through for a second and third time. I love the reverse, and the adjustable speeds. The slow reverse made removing the batt much easier, and is definitely great for pulling off roving through a diz. Ron is just a phone call away for custumer support. He's a really nice guy, and will walk you through anything. He backs his products completely.
Next post I will see if I can get on of my daughters to take a pic of me dizzing off the roving. I wished I was tech saavy enough to do a video. Maybe one of my girls will know how too, they're usually up on the tech stuff more than I.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How Mary got the VM out of her fleece or The Virtue of Hand Combs!

Well, the first picture shows some newly acquired fleece, California Red. Rather confusing since the wool is beige, huh? Well, the lambs are born red and as they mature, the fleece turns beige. The sheep maintain the red in their legs and their face. Anyway, I got a pound of this really soft fleece. The seller had it bargain priced because it has some VM (Vegatable Matter). I also ordered some hand combs, so I thought I give it a go. See all the little flecks, that's VM.

Handcarders are usually expensive, like a $100 or more. I found these on Etsy from a seller, catskillmtnfibers. They were only $45 and are 2 pitched,(2 rows of tines). I ordered them on Friday and had them by Tuesday. They are really nice and feel good in my hands. I gave them a thorough trial.
The hand combs work really great! In a short time I was able to get all this nice fluffy fiber ready for my Fancy Kitty Kitten drumcarder! Soon it'll be nice soft batts all ready to spin! That will be my next post. Something new is being added. Ron has made a motor base for the Kitten that'll I'll be trying out. I can't wait and will be giving a thorough review!

Here you can see the combs will the fiber on them after combing. It gets out the VM and also the second cuts...the little short peices that come from passing the shears over the sheep after the first cut. It will cause my yarn to pill, so we don't want that! The soft fluffy longer side is the keeper side!
See all the VM that magically falls out as you comb and separate the fibers? So much easier than trying to pick it all out peice by peice! I give the hand combs a 8 out of 10!!! They're well constructed, not too heavy and work very well. I just wished the tines were a tiny bit closer together.