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July 08, 2007



Nice geranium! The color's kind of bland though, don'tcha think? We have several varities that have odors, when the leaves are crushed--oak, lemon, there's a chocolate I can't find, rose, and a few others that I forget. And a big huge red plant by the front door.

Carders: I have a Patrick Green carder w/2 drums. One for medium to coarse fiber, one for fine fiber. Since it's such a hassle to change drums (besides, one is lost to the wool room monster), I just use the fine drum. I like it just fine. I'd rather have an electric PG carder. I'd also like to be skinny. We'll see which one happens first.

I also have a Louet roving carder. The teeth of the carder are more flexible than the PG. That's because of the length of the Louet's drum. I've carded/blended silk, and other fine fibers w/o too much of a problem. If I had more experience with a carder, I'd probably get better results.

YES! Drum carders at FibreFest North! And chocolate! Don't forget the chocolate!


Your idea of test driving a few at Fibrefest North is a very good one.
I have a Louet, purchased by my dh as a Christmas present. It was what the local vendor had in stock. Wouldn't be my first pick because the two drums are in fixed position and the teeth gnash together. That can produce neps in fine fleece. I've worked out some acrobatics to get around that, but still...
Funny you should mention this, I've been thinking that Spin-Off hasn't done any technical articles on fiber blending in a long time. They seem to stick to the faddish things lately (space dyeing yarn again?!)


Purty flower.

I have a Bongo Drum Carder. The sheep are dancing so much, they don't care what you do to their fleece.... (har)

I think you are in an especially good mood because Mar, Fredda and I are coming to see you in September. I know it's making ME all warm and fuzzy...


I have a louet fine roving jr. I like it since it works on all fibers shorter than 7 inches. I got it because I started bying fleece and my first fleece was alpaca. there are some things I don't like. It doesn't do short fibers well like the undercoat of my icelandic fleeces, angora rabbit, or alpaca seconds. These shorter fibers get caught on the infeed drum. If I would buy another it would be the motorized version.


Okay. I know about right clicking and saving the little picture. But I've never linked a picture before. Do I just highlight it and use the link button like when doing text?
I remember when my aunt got a drum carder. It was quite neat. But then she sold all her sheep and got into breeding dogs instead. Now we have a wonderful Golden Retriever, but some days I wish I had an insider source of fleece, LOL.


I started with a petite from http://www.strauchfiber.com/ with the brush attachment. It was ok for while but the batts I was getting where small and it took a long time to card a fleece. I then upgraded to one of the standards from the same company, larger batts, less time but I had to recard each batt at least twice to get the results I wanted. Specially when blending different fibers like alpaca and wool. After much thought I decided to get a Pat Green Supercarder. They are a lot of money and I probably don't use it as much as I should for the money I paid for it. But when I do use it, I get things done fast, large batts, I don't have to recard as often , the blends come out beautiful. Overall I would say: get the best you can afford even if you think it is overkill. Time is precious. You can call Otto from strauchfiber he is a wonderful and very helpful person and he will guide you to what you want/need even if it is not one of his carders. He was the one that told me: you need a Supercarder. Good luck!


Currently in the shop I have an electric Patrick Greene, a Strauch Petite with the brush - but I had the Finest too - and a Fancy Kitty carder - the same guy that makes the carders for Howard Brush.
They are all very good carders.
The Fancy Kitty one is Beautiful with inlaid wood and it is very well made. You can get several drums for it and it works very well.
If it were me I would go for the Strauch Finest or one of the double wide models. The brush attchment is great, very little fiber stays on the licker in and I love the batts I get. The PG is very nice but I don;t choose it as often because of plugging it in and it is very heavy. If it is going to stay in one spot and you want electric they are also a good choice.
None of this was helpful was it?
O.K. I hate the Louet ones and I also don;t like the Ashfords. How's that?


I have a Strauch. http://www.strauchfiber.com/
Mine is the full size, not double size. I had borrowed a PG before buying the Strauch. I chose the S because it is chain driven. The rubber band on the PG would slip when I tried to card multi layers for blending.
When I bought my S the Canadian dollar was about 65 cents US., I wish I was buying it today instead when we've been running around 95 cents!


I have a PG Deb's Delicate Deluxe. I card mainly fine wools like Polwarth, Corriedale, Falkland Islands. I chose it because I had used an Ashford, Louet and a no name model in some classes and did not like them. They did not handle the finer fibers I prefer gently. I find that the PG is beautifully made and it comes with excellent instructions and information. I would only augment it with another PG -- a Supercard or Fancicard. I haven't tried a Strauch but know of Otto's fine work through his reworking of my (then) Fricke's Jumbo ball winder. He improved it greatly and with good humor. I would like to try one of his carders.


Hey Ted,

So you have fallen prey to the siren call of the drum carder, eh? I am pretty much a pre-processed fiber spinner, but there is really something about spinning a batt fresh off the drum carder. FLUFFY isn't the word.

I have the Strauch Petite with the brush. I purchased it for a few reasons: low price, small size, decent quality. It is a pretty good carder for an apartment dweller due to it's small size. I use it primarily for blending fiber and making artistic batts from already processed fibers. It does a decent enough job, but when I am carding a lot of fiber I wish it had a larger drum. But then it wouldn't be a Petite, would it? If I were processing a lot of fleece I would get a bigger carder, but the Petite works fine for the occasional user. It's really designed for that.

My only other comment, ironically, is that I wish that I could slow down the speed in which the fiber is drawn in sometimes, especially for certain very fine fibers like silk. I have to turn the crank VERY slowly to get the quality that I want. I understand the Patrick Greene Beverly had different speed ratios, but that it is currently discontinued.

I don't have much experience with the other Strauch or Patrick Greene carders, but from what I understand you really can't go wrong with any of them.

Best and have a good time at Fiberfest.


denny  Mcmillan

Patrick Green electric is the one I have. It took one whole year to save the money for it, but that was several years ago, and I will have it for many many more. I love it but
the fibers really need to be clean and well open. so I'm a big fan of my P.G. wool picker for pre pep in carding. wool picker can save badly matted fiber. Why do I buy such high priced over the top equipment for my hobbie?
1. I don't own a car.
2. I have enough stash, ( I always tell people, if you have lots of yarn, start buying equipment.)

I hope this helps.

Deborah Robson

It's very, very smart to ask these questions.

I bought my drum carder before there were Patrick Greens, or Louets, or several other options now available. There were maybe three makes, none was available to test-drive anywhere within reasonable travel distance, the local fiber shop (well-known) stocked one, I bought it, and I think that's why I like combed and hand-carded fiber so well. . . .

I have no idea if the make is still around. The maker was well-known at the time but has not been mentioned here. I am blanking on the name. Other equipment these folks made was fine. If they're still making drum carders, they have almost certainly redesigned because spinners have more choices and are more demanding. This was about 25 or 30 years ago.

The RIGHT drum carder is undoubtedly a delight. I hated mine, wanting all the time to like it, although it worked okay with medium-coarse fibers that I prepared thoroughly and processed slowly.

Sometimes I am SOOOO glad that there are more spinners around now and that as a result we have access to better equipment, a broader range of fibers, and other delights!

Some day I want another drum carder. I think. But I want to test-drive first.

And it's great to get all this feedback.


My Loüet has been around now for more than 20 years. There were no where near the number of choices then as now.

It is a work horse and has held up quite well. But frankly, for the type of knitting that I like I am more likely to want to spin worsted. As a result, I use my combs a lot more than the carder. Combs are from Indigo Hound.


You're a sweetie, Ted...thank you for the blog post plug.

What a beauty of a Geranium!

Best of luck with FibreFest North. I'm so happy you went forward with it.

Warrior Knitter

Is that orange mint? It's looks like orange mint. If it is it's also good in iced tea. I love the color of your geranium. I also get tired of the bright ones you see every where.

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