Monday, 18 March 2013

Latest 'Play thing'

It seems that this is not a new idea just one that has been updated and become the latest 'must have' for spinners and felters. Once I was introduced to the idea of a Blending Board I just had to see what could be achieved with one.
First, I had to get one. Looking on the internet I realised that they price was too much for me. Luckily, I have a wodworking husband and he had just bought himself tools at the local auction that meant making my own board was a possibility!
The result of our combined workmanship is what you see above. As soon as we told a friend about the project she said she would like one too. Great, it's always good when your problem solving and planning for a project means you can make use of your ideas more than once.
Yes, yes, I can hear you ask - What is it for? How good is it? - and yes it does look rather like a chopping board with additions. Well, I couldn't find a chopping board the right size and as more wood is needed to make the keel (at the top of the picture) then the wood had to be bought at B&Q - this time anyway.
Once the shape of the board and keel were fashioned, holes drilled for fixings and table clamps, the board was oiled - three coats - and left to dry before the carding cloth could be added.
This tool is used to blend fibres, either mixed types e.g. wool and silk, or several colours to make rolags to be spun into yarn or the 'sheet' of fibres once removed from the board can be felted.
So far, since finishing the board on Friday night, I have blended and spun together two oddments of fibre, brown Merino and space dyed Blue faced Leicester tops to create the sluby yarn on the left of the board.
Next, I tried blending the three yellows, middle top, and created the yellow roving below them. I removed the fibres from the board and rolled them lengthways, then drafted this large rolag to produce a fluffy soft length of tops to spin.
The grey rolags on the right were created by blending dark Jacobs tops with some white tops. I am spinning them at the moment with some other rolags that are stripped with the dark and light tops. Both of these are to be plied together. I will post the results later when the light is better and I can take better photos.
Before we made it my reservation about this tool was whether it would be easy to get the blended fibres off the board. When using a drum carder, it is always easier to remove the fibre once the carding cloth is full.
Happily, this is not the case with the blending board!
The other advantage is being able to work while watching the television without disturbing others with the noise, bump and grind, of a drum carder or hand carders. I also think that needle felters will be able to create small amounts of colour blends for their creative work.

I will take more photos and post more info as soon as possible.
I'm off to play some more!!!!!!!


  1. Your board is lovely. I'm really enjoying my board also.

  2. Hi! Would you mind sharing what hardware you used for the keel? My husband and I (who are not especially knowledgeable about this stuff) have been trying to figure out how to make one. Do you have some sort of threaded, metal nut in the underside of the board for the bolt to screw into? Thanks!