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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I have the washing part down pat. And the drying.

I can't for the life of me, no matter how much I card make something easy to spin from.

I also can't for the life of me seem to comb for a decent top.

I've watched as many videos on you tube as I can find, and read everything I've come across.

I'm getting discouraged (a lot). I can spin pretty from commercial top and roving, but can't seem to make anything decent from my (copious amounts of) homegrown.

Help?
 

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a couple of things to think about-

Commercial top has not only been machine combed - it has been heat straightened/set so your "homegrown" fiber will ALWAYS feel somewhat "less" straight and orderly.

(Think about the difference between curly hair that has been washed, blown out straight with heat, then flat ironed - and curly hair that has just been washed and combed. :shrug:)

PERSONALLY, I WAY prefer home prepped.

Some people even take commercially prepared combed top and wet it or steam it with a steamer to let it regain its natural crimp and wave but still retain its orderliness.

I have taken combing classes with Robin Russo (http://www.interweavestore.com/combing-fiber-dvd) of St Blaise Comb fame and I can tell you, combing is an art form unto itself.

I highly recommend her DVD. Being painstaking in the lengths you go to NOT disturb the edges of the combed fiber is huge - adding combing milk to staticky fiber is HUGE , etc

Also, I enjoyed Rita Buchanan's "How I Spin" and her take on combing. http://www.interweavestore.com/how-i-spi

I also recommend standing at the elbow of someone that has done it successfully and learn from them.
 

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Lexi can you post some pictures of what you are ending up with? As WIHH said you really cannot expect your hand prepared fiber to look anything like commercial stuff. I'm wondering if you might need to lower your standards :shrug: it really helps us to help you if you can take pictures of the "problem" for us to see.
 

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I'm wondering if you might need to lower your standards
I love you, Marchwind. That's the best advice I have had in a month of Sundays. It applies to so many things in my life right now.

It's not that my life is so crazy. I just need to lower my standards a little. hehehehe
 

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Yup Kasota, I think it applied to most of us :)
 
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In this hetic time-when my house is a mess of last minute canning, full of old dogs that smell like...well, like old dogs... and mud tracking in on the feet of all that come and go-well, lowering my standards sounds good.
As for homegrown fiber vs commericially prepared fiber-it's not the 'perfection' that makes it lovely and desirable, it's the loving care and the amount of yourself that you put into that fiber that makes all the difference in the world to those whom you gift with your work.
I, personally, have bought only one 2 ounce ball of roving in over 2 years-a small sample of a breed new to me, the California Red that I saw at Black Sheep Gathering this year. I prefer my own fiber to card, spin and knit. I love it in my hands as I spin; on my needles as I knit; on the ones I love after I gift.
Don't try to perfect, just do what your hands find with your whole heart. This is an art, and there are many ways to practice it and many ways to enjoy it.

betty

ps-i'll buy a tee-shirt
 

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Betty I swear you could talk about going to the dump and it would sound beautiful. Woman you ave a gift with your word and you always paint the most incredible pictures in my head :). I LOVE reading your posts, no matter what you write about they bring me peace. Hugs to you and bless you and your gift :)

Kasota I'll buy a t-shirt too :D
 
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