Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mini Batts: bite-sized fibers

I love spinning from a carded batt, but sometimes I don't want to spin up a full 100g skein. Maybe I'm not too sure about a colorway... or I just want an accent single in my multi-ply yarn. Whatever the reason, mini batts are my answer ;D

Bite-sized fibers
Mini-batts are anything 50g or less, but for me they're generally about 30g.  Carding on a small (4 inch wide) drum carder allows you to pull off a batt that feels more like a roving. And for storage,  I like to tie them up into a loose "knot" (like a bread knot), and toss them into a cute open weave basket so I can see them. I keep a different basket depending on the main fiber used in the blend. This way, when I'm ready to spin, I can quickly see what's available!

Because I can't choose just one...
One of my favorite ways to spin these up, is to take three that coordinate, spin up the fine singles and ply together for a worsted or bulky weight yarn. I start by picking three batts that share at least one color in each of their blends. Usually, I like to make sure they also have the same main fiber in their blend. This just ensures that it won't do anything too strange once plied,washed, and finished. By combining 3 mini batts of about 30g each, you can easily end up with a full 100g skein. And that's enough to make lots of small projects like a hat, fingerless mitts, or a scarf. It's also the perfect amount to use in combination with your favorite store bought yarn, adding a stripe of interest that may be just enough to make it your own!

Fiber taste test...
Mini batts are also a great opportunity to give something a try without investing too much time, money, or precious fiber. This is the perfect way to create that crazy color combo that you never thought you'd be bold enough to pull off; spin it up, and swatch it all in a matter of hours! Not sure how it will feel to spin up a merino/alpaca/bamboo blend? Card up that mini batt and test it out!
Don't have a drum carder of your own? Go online, and go shopping! there are a number of sellers (like myself) who are selling mini batts of premium and exotic fibers at very affordable prices!

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