Monday, January 12, 2009

hand carding- on the cheap

in december i met an alpaca rancher. as we were talking i mentioned that i was making some dolls for the kids for christmas, and asked if he had any fiber for sale. he did, but then he offered the unsightly leg hair that he can't sell, for free. and, as we all know, i love a freebie so i took him up on the offer. fast forward 2 weeks. i get an email telling me where i can pick up said 'leg hair'. i go to a local shop and come home with a huge, stinky, dirty bag of alpaca leg hair. yes, it was as appealing as it sounds. but i was soaring! i couldn't believe my luck and subsequently called at least 5 people to share.
after shaking, washing, picking and so on, i finally had it somewhat clean. i went internet shopping for carders hoping to find some that moonpie and i could both use. and i did find some. but they were, at the cheapest, $65. now if i'm going to pick sticks out of alpaca leg hair, you gotta know that i'm not paying $65 for carders. so my brain got to ticking and i came up with a solution- dog grooming paddles.



as you can see from the label, these are deluxe. and did i mention that i found them at the dollar store?!? i bought 2 for myself, then i splurged and bought 2 more for moonpie.



oh man, we had fun! carding is hard work, and alpaca sheds, but it was a sweet time to spend with my girl while buddy napped. at one point she said 'momma, i'm so glad i can spend some time with you'. }}}sigh{{{

so here's the bottom line- if you are in need of some natural stuffing for doll making, felting, etc. check your community. drive around and look for sheep or alpaca. then befriend the rancher- you just might luck out too!

8 comments:

Brandi said...

i can get you a great deal on some cat hair from my lawn furniture.

i'm starting to think you might have a mental disorder.

no offense.

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

That is TOTALLY something I would do! And I'm pretty sure I do have a mental disorder. I swear I'm going to track down the FFA kids at the next county fair and beg them for some scrap wool.

Mandy said...

It just goes to show, our kids just want us to spend time with them no matter what we are doing. Even if it's scraping leg hair through a dog brush on the back porch. ;)

Tammie said...

umm, ok, carding...i don't think it is a real word. i even looked it up....not there. why do you have to make up words?

mandi said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carding

word to your mom, tammie. wikipedia knows EVERYTHING...

cwoverfi said...

So, Moonpie is absolutely darling and surely has a personality to match that beautiful face. My question is can you actually spin yarn from fiber carded with deluxe dog brushes because, like you, I'm not about to spend $65.oo for hand carders. I noticed my lint brushes make a nice roll of cat hair when I brush off the two porch chair cushions, and they don't even have teeth. But I don't think cat hair will spin - too short.

cwoverfi said...

I've noticed my lint brush makes a nice roll of cat hair off the front porch cushions, so I wondered if animal brushes could work as "carders" but can you actually spin yarn with the fiber you card with them? I'd love to try it, but not with cat hair, too short for spinning, I think.

mandi said...

Thank you cwoverfi!
I never tried spinning yarn from the fiber, we have used ours in felting. But, it is definitely worth a shot, and I'd love to hear how it goes for you!