A couple months ago, I mentioned that I acquired a new tool. I’d been searching for and considering buying a blending board for a year or so. I really love spinning batts and rolags now & then and I was really interested in learning how these items are created and dabbling in creating some on a small scale for myself. Since a drum carder is not in my future, I thought this would be a fun way to experiment with making my own blends. I got to talking with a spinning friend and after some discussion we agreed on a price and shortly after, this Clemes and Clemes blending board arrived at my home.
It’s in incredible shape and I was so excited to get rolling with it I purchased Esther Rodgers’ Craftsy class, How to Prepare Wool for Spinning, and I got right down to playing… I mean experimenting.
I discovered very quickly how much I didn’t know about blending colors which is, you know, a great part of the learning process. To my delight, my daughter fell in love with the blending board.
I don’t know if she has a grand color intuition or she just has no fear (maybe it’s both?), but she layers away without any hesitation. I try to guide her a little, but mostly I just let her do her thing and help out with the actual physical portions of the process. After a brief demonstration for my mom in early September and a little ‘crafternoon’ we shared a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d spin up a few of the mini skeins she’d blended and today I thought I’d share those with you. They are all just general “mixed fibers” at this point, taking from a few fiber packs I picked up from Countess Ablaze, some very economical fiber my daughter picked up at WI Sheep & Wool, and another random deep stash braid of fiber I pulled out in her trademark pinks, purples, and blues.
As you can see, there’s a lot of texture at play here. With all the random fibers and knowing she’d be using these in her weaving, I really took liberties with letting the fiber be thick and thin and just enjoyed seeing the colors unfold.
This little braid contained the most of her beloved pink poofs of fiber that she talked my mom into getting for her at WI Sheep & Wool. It was literally like a sandwich bag of a more rustic, unidentified breed dyed pink and it was only a couple dollars, but it was my daughter’s pride and joy.
The biggest surprise was a blend we did to show my mom how the blending board worked. This was my daughter’s first real experience with it and she was going to town with it. Her little hands deftly added fiber here and there and I sat beside her thinking, “This is going to be absolutely horrible.” I cringed as she added a pale yellow and was a little sad I’d ‘wasted’ fiber as I rolled it off the board.
I’ve only had my new-to-me blending board a couple months, but already it’s totally clear that I have a lot to learn. Thankfully, it seems I’ll have a good influence and a fearless teacher at my side.