Once you have mastered hand carding, you can custom blend your own fiber combinations with hand cards.  It is fun and easy, and you get to be involved in even more of the creative process.  You can blend different colors, types of fibers or both as you will see here.  We blended some silk hankie layers, and three different colors of raw fleece for an interesting effect.

To start,  card each color separately just enough to get the fiber open and well aligned.  You may want to read Using Hand Cards , if you are trying for the first time.  Once you have your first fiber or colors lightly carded, you can work on the next addition.

 

pre carded fiber

 



To add silk from a hankie or spinning bell, peel a layer off and with scissors, cut it up into 8 pie type wedges and set aside.  The more you cut the silk, the shorter the staple length will be, so experiment until you get just the effect you are looking for.

 

cutting the silk

 



Now you can load strips of the silk into the cards, just let part of the ends catch on the teeth, and pull some of the extra out, and reload it elsewhere.  You can add as much or as little silk as you like.

 

lay on the silk

 



Now you can add a little of the other fibers, placing them in a pleasing way.  Try to keep them a little stripy or you may over blend and loose the multi color effect.

 

load wool

 



Now card gently until all the fibers are looking well carded.  If you like you can pull the batt off the cards and reload it for a more thorough blending, or spin as it is.

 

blended rolag

 



Once your fibers are blended to your satisfaction, you may roll into a rolag, spin off the card or batt.  The resulting yarns are often very unique with a great feel and look to them.  Try lightly blending colors together that are very different in color, value or hue.  For example, a dark red with a pale green, a dark red with a pale pink, or a Dark cool red with a warm light red.  The combinations and possibilities are endless.

 

plied ball