The second part of The Poodle Project is to spin 9.8 oz of white poodle fur from Alli. This is a custom spinning project for a customer.
I start out with hand skirting and sorting the fiber, picking out the second cuts (short bits of hair that are unsuitable for spinning)
I hand pick the fiber open and load it onto a flick carder
I then transfer the fiber from the flick carder to a fine toothed hand card and smooth the fiber out so that it is all laying in the same direction.
Here is how the fiber looks while I'm taking it off the hand card.
And here is how it looks after it is off the hand card.
The top section is thicker than the bottom section. I gently split the rolag in half lengthwise for spinning.
I then start spinning the fiber with my Van Eaton spinning wheel.
And here is how the singles yarn looks after spinning.
I will spin about 1.5 to 2 ounces of fiber onto two bobbins, giving me a total of 3 to 4 oz total when I ply those two bobbins together. I will then put the bobbins on a "lazy kate" and ply them on the wheel, going the opposite direction to ply them. This creates a strong, balanced two-ply yarn. I will then soak the skeins to wash them and to set the twist and hang them to dry.
At 0.4 to 0.5 oz per rolag, that means I will need to hand card 20 to 25 rolags to complete the project (9.8 oz of fiber to process/card for spinning).
So, you can see that the process is very labor intensive. I don't even want to figure out how much I make an hour - I'm certain it is less than half of minimum wage! But, I love the process and I love watching the bag of fiber transform into lovely soft, lofty yarn under my hands and before my eyes. I just love the creative process of working with fiber and spinning it.