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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ugly Duckling Carding Services

I recently bid on an Alchemy request on Etsy and my bid was accepted. Someone wanted their fibers carded into batts for spinning. She sent me 8.5 ounces of a variety of fibers, shown in the photo above. When the package arrived Friday, I opened it and pulled the fibers out of the bag and laid them out on our bed. Oh dear, I wondered what in the world I was going to do to put these fibers together and make some of my beautiful fiber blend batts. Not that they were ugly fibers, they just didn't stand out and really inspire me. I set them aside for the night and Saturday I got them out and laid them on the card table and took the photograph. Then I started arranging and re-arranging fibers side by side until I found some combinations that I thought would work well together. I normally make 2 oz batts and decided to make 4 batts each a little over 2 oz each. Following are the four batts I created using these fibers. My personal favorite is the pink/yellow/orange batt.


Here is what the customer had to say when I emailed photos of the finished batts to her (we exchanged several emails back and forth):

I was worried about the randomness of the fibers, but you just wow. WOW. LOL my friend is probably going to contact you too, she was just as amazed at what you created. You really have a talent for it, I know I couldn't do what you did.

OMG I am speechless!!!! You did amazing, I can't believe that is from the roving I sent. WOW. Thank you so so so so so much, you are just awesome!

Once again, you did AMAZINGLY thank you so much, they are perfect!!

Needless to say, her praise and comments made my day. Doing this really helped me to think outside the box. I have never done this before - carded up random fibers that people sent to me. She gave me free rein and told me to just go crazy and have fun. I'm always worried that my intrepretation of what looks good wouldn't match what the customer envisioned. This time it worked out well - we were both pleased with the outcome. I'm thinking of adding another aspect to my business and dub it "Ugly Duckling Carding Services". However, the smaller the amount of fiber, the trickier the job becomes. The more colors and textures you have to choose from, the better your chances at creating something really inspired and beautiful. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

20 comments:

Nancy said...

Wow, they really did turn out very beautiful! I give you a lot of credit for taking on a project like that. But then I guess that's what being an artist is all about...taking what people have in a big mess and rearranging it in a way that makes sense aesthetically. Very good job!

Liz said...

This really is a WOW! Beautiful work!

Meghann said...

You did a phenomenal job - I looked at the first photo and thought, "wow, what the heck is she gonna do to make that pop?" and then you did your magic and WOW, you are awesome! Great job, I hope to see more!

Prpldy said...

It's amazing what you created with the roving you received. They are all so beautiful now.

audreyscountrycrafts said...

WOW!! Is definitely the right word!!
My favorite is the one all the way on the right. You did an amazing job.

Merry said...

The difference between the before and after is amazing. I love your color combinations. I would have been thrilled as well with how well it turned out. Brava.

Nancy said...

They are lovely, you did work magic there!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Wow - that's gorgeous! And I love your idea of the Ugly Duckling service :)

Deronda designs... said...

I am enthralled with the colors and how they just play together...yummy.

Pricilla said...

I don't begin to understand the terminology or process but I do understand beauty when I see it.

Pricilla said...

Oooh, up to 501 votes. Hope this means you are winning!

storybeader said...

You did a great job. I'm not sure what she'll use them for - glow in the dark sweaters? lol Would love to see the finished products. I like that one on the far left...

Lin said...

I'm with Pricilla--don't get the terminology. What is carding?? Did you spin those fibers? They truly are lovely--quite the eye you have!!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Carding fibers is done on a drum carder - two cylinders with metal "teeth" on them, similar to a slicker brush used on dogs. The carder aligns the fibers and combs them nice and smooth and gets them all blended and going in the same direction. They then are ready for spinning or felting. The customer is going to spin these particular batts into yarn.

Landlocked Shores said...

Amazing! I just got my own drum carder today and have been experimenting. You did a fabulous job!
Nicki
www.nikobee.etsy.com

Alterity said...

Wow...those are amazing color blends! Your creativity is an inspiration!

tstreasures said...

You did such an amazing job!! No wonder your customer was so happy.

Pricilla said...

Oh, that isn't yarn? Whoa, I guess I have a lot to learn. Love the colors though. Love yarn too, just don't know how it comes to be. My knitting skills are quite rudimentary.

Danielle Barlow said...

Wow, you did great with a rather 'awkward' bunch of colours to begin with!

Claire said...

Beautiful! Just like all the batts I get from your fiber of the month club! Great job!