Majacraft Fusion Engine Drum Carder

Majacraft Fusion Engine Drum Carder

  A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review on the Majacraft Fusion Engine Drum Carder, and I thought it might be a good idea to follow that up with a video showing some of the cool features it has. One of these features is a special favourite of mine, partly because I had a role in its development! When I was out in NZ in 2013 I was able to use the prototype carder that Majacraft had developed at that stage. It was pretty much as you see it now (although there have been invisible changes and ‘tweaks’ since then), and there has since been one addition that I am very proud of, the Direct Injection Tray. This is an accessory for the carder that allows you to make super textured batts for creative yarns. It came about as I was playing around with the carder, Andy had asked me to put it through its paces, (he also told me to try and break it because they needed to know it would handle anything that was thrown at it.) I had made some lovely smooth and blended batts on it, and then wanted to make some really textured ones, with lots of locks and add ins. I figured if it was going to break, it would happen if it got jammed up with lots of fibre. I found that the carder was actually so very efficient, it was difficult to get it to ‘stop’ opening up the texture in the locks I was feeding in, as it beautifully spreads them out over the big drum in even a single pass. I looked at the clever design with the feedtray placed up high and how it increased the time fiber spends on the licker by feeding it in at the top. So I bypassed that tray and held the fiber at the bottom of the licker-in to see what would happen. And there it was! From that position the fiber gets whacked directly onto the main drum, retaining most of its textured locky glory! I told Andy about this and suggested that it was an ideal position for feeding in ‘fiber sandwiches’, stacks of fiber that effectively stash the textured stuff between two smooth layers. In no time Andy had created the Direct Injection feedtray that allows this feed position to be used with no danger to fingers or fiber. And it works brilliantly! This feature gives me the option of creating any kind of batt I want on the one machine. Using the standard 72tpi cloth I can create beautiful smooth blended batts AND crazy, highly textured fiber batts suitable for all kinds of creative yarn spinning. There is one...

Read More

DIY Rainbow Roving

DIY Rainbow Roving

I thought it was about time I posted a little project, and I am currently preparing some rainbow roving for the Colour Blending Workshop I will be teaching at the end of the month, so thought it was appropriate to share it here too! This is an extension of the Colour Blending Course that we have available online from our www.FiberyGoodness.com website, so if you are interested in extending your fiber and colour experimenting you might like to check that out too! I have been making this for a while (since I got my hackle!) and when I was preparing this workshop a couple of months ago I made some specifically to spin this: and I also used some to spin this:  and in a little while there will be a Part Two of the Colour Blending course that will cover spinning techniques for making the most of your colour blended fibers! So here we go with the Rainbow Roving! You will need:    A Hackle, a Diz, some sparkles, and fiber in the rainbow colours of your choice. Here is one of my secrets, don’t just use plain old dyed fiber for this, do what I do, take some extra time, dye (or buy) only the three primary colours red, yellow, and blue, and then blend those with your combs or drum carder to make the gorgeous rich tones that are only possible when blending coloured fiber, trust me, its so much more complex and subtle than a simple dyed colour, once you get blending you will see! Use your primaries to make the secondary colours, orange, green, and purple. Add in some sparkle as you blend. If you are going to use dyed rather than blended, you can also add in the sparkle as you load the hackle, or (also cool) just give each colour a quick blend with the sparkle before you load onto the hackle, it will give you a more delicate and subtle mix. 1. Start loading the hackle with your first colour, make one not too thick layer all the way across the hackle. I used blue first: 2. Load on the next layer, try to make it about the same thickness as the previous one. My second colour was purple, and I added some extra bling to this layer: 3. Follow this with a new layer, again, all the way across the hackle and about the same thickness as previous colours. The reason for taking the colour all the way across the hackle is so that your stripes run the full length of the roving. 4. You can see we are building the rainbow horizontally across the hackle now! The red layer...

Read More

Life in Colour

Life in Colour

Time is an issue. Theres never enough of it when you’re busy, or way too much of it if you happen to be somewhere you don’t want to be. Half the time its the wrong way around, especially when you have friends and family on the other side of the planet and something you just neeeeeed to tell them when actually its 4am there and theyre not gonna wake up just because you have this THING. It flies when you’re having fun and never just lets you reset it back to an hour ago and have that all over again, and yet it has no problem compressing a year or twos worth of memories into one little blurry block that feels like it was done and over in a week. And did you ever get that feeling when you arrive back from a holiday and it eerily feels like you never left? Time can rip you off. But fear not, this isnt going to degenerate into a simple rave about negative stuff, this is actually going somewhere. Organisation Thats where! I have decided that the trick is multi-tasking but in a kind of, one thing at a time way. Like taking multiple realities, and living in all of them, but not all at the same time, hopping between them, except, this isnt multiple realities is it? Its more like… multiple time streams. I know. But I can make this work. So if I can just ‘imagine’ that in one of those multi-time streams, I have already completed everything on my to do list, suddenly things get better. I can relax, safe in the knowledge that at least one version of me, somewhere in this space time continuum multi level reality flow, HAS done enough to be able to sit back and watch a movie and finish Bioshock Burial at Sea on the xbox. At which point, I can imagine I am in THAT time zone thingy and can do that too. No guilt. Trust me, it’ll all  work out. But the most important thing, the THING thats been taking all my available time from both this and other levels of time reality, is THIS thing, or rather TWO THINGS. Two brand new ebooks in the Fiberygoodness.com shop... oops make that THREE! The first and my favourite is one I just finished writing, on one of my favourite fibery subjects- BLENDING COLOUR! There are so many wonderful things about blending colours in fiber, all the subtle mixes, the amazing effect of seeing all the individual coloured fibers close up yet from a distance they form this beautiful blended colour, and its just plain exciting to almost magically create an entirely...

Read More