A Spanish post – Un post español

Soy inglesa y normalmente escribo mi blog en ingles.  Pero, vivo en Chile, cerca de La Serena, y creo que aveces debo hacer mi blog en español.  Mas que nada para ver si alguien esta interesado en que hago.  Yo trabajo con lana.  Tengo ovejas y lo esquilo yo misma y después hago cosas con la lana.  También trabajo con lana que compro.  En este post voy a incluir “links” a otros posts mios que estan en ingles, pero que muestra mas fotos del tema.

I am English and write most of my blog in English.  However, since I live in Chile, near La Serena, I think I should sometimes do parts of my blog in Spanish.  I am doing this to see if there is interest in what I do amongst Spanish speakers.  I work with wool.  I have sheep and shear them myself, and then I make things with the wool.  I also work with wool that I buy.  In this post I will include links to my other posts that cover each theme in more detail.

Con la lana que compro me gusta hacer cosas de fieltro, como bufondas.  La lana de mis ovejas no es tan buena para hacer fieltro, porque no es tan fina.

Bufandas de fieltro / felted scarves

With the wool that I buy I like to make felted objects, like scarves.  The wool from my sheep is not very good for felting, because it is not as fine.

post de fieltro/ felting post

Para empezar, primero saco la lana de las ovejas esquilando y lo lavo suavemente para sacar algo de la lanolina y suciedad.  Cuando esta seca yo paso la lana por un “wool picker” (que yo hice), que abre la lana y deja caer mas mugre. Luego, paso la lana por mis “hand o drum Carder” para peinar la lana.

Maquina para abrir la lana / machine that opens the wool

Lana sin lavar, lavada, abierto, y dos vellónes peinado/ wool unwashed, washed, picked, and two carded batts

To start I remove the wool from the sheep by shearing and then I gently wash the wool to remove the lanoline and some of the dirt. When the wool is dry I pass it through my home made wool picker, which opens the wool and allows some of the dirt to fall out.  Next, I pass the wool through my hand or drum carder to card the wool.

post de ovejas/sheep post

post de esquilar/shearing post

post de como hice mi “wool picker”/ how I made a wool picker post

post de cardar/ carding post

Ahora la lana esta lista para hilar.  Yo hilo con husos y ruecas dependiendo de donde estoy.  Los husos yo puedo tomar a todas partes porque son chicas y livianas.

Lana hilada con una rueca/ wool spun on a spinning wheel

Lana hilado a mano/ hand spun wool

Now the wool is ready to be spun.  I spin wool with drop spindles and spinning wheels, depending where I am.  The drop spindles I can take with me anywhere because they are small and light.

post de husos/ drop spindles post

Yo puedo tejer o usar la lana para telares, o yo puedo teñir la lana en mis hornos solares.  Yo teñía con colorante de comida o con plantas naturales.  Mis favoritos son cascara de cebollas, que hace un color naranja y hojas de el árbol nogal, que hace café o verde.

Lana con cascara de palta en el horno solar/ wool with avacado peels in the solar oven

Lana teñida con cascara de palta y cebolla/ wool dyed with avocado and onion skins

I can use the wool to knit or weave, or I can dye the wool in my solar ovens.  I dye with food colouring or natural dyes from plants.  My favourites are onion skins, which give an orange colour and walnut tree leaves, which give brown or green.

post de teñir en hornos solares/ solar dyeing post

Este post es solo una introducción a las diferentes etapas del procesamiento de la lana.  Si alguien esta interesado en algo específico me puede dejar consultas en la sección de comments.

Gracias por la visita!

Lana de mis ovejas/ yarn from my sheep

This post is only an introduction to the different steps in processing wool.  If anyone is interested in something specific you can leave questions in the comment section.

Thanks for visiting!

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Building a wool picker

I have wanted to build a wool picker ever since I saw photos of them on the internet and learned what they did.  A wool picker is a machine that pulls wool apart to make it more open.  This helps clean the wool, and makes it easier to card, (or even spin).  It opens the wool with the aid of sharp, smooth nails that hold and pull the wool.  It is a very dangerous piece of equipment, with some having over 400 nails.

I have not been able to build one because I could not find nails that were smooth.  Normal nails would snag and tear the wool.  Well, a couple of weeks ago I found nails for a nail gun and they seemed perfect.  They may not be as sharp as the nails used in a wool picker, but I think that is okay.

Holes drilled for nails

Once I had the nails I started planning what type of picker to make.  There are two basic types, one that swings and a box or bench picker.  The box type seem easier and safer to build so I decided on a wide box picker.  My dad has some wooden boxes so I used one as my base.  These are not instructions on how to build a wool picker, only my attempts at building one.

Getting ready

The nails are set into the wood at an angle of about 45 degrees, in groups that change direction.  When I learned how to build the solar ovens I became comfortable using an electric screwdriver/drill, and I used one to drill the holes for the nails.  I drilled a hole in a spare piece of wood and used that to guide the drill so I had the same angle for each hole.

Wool picker

I drilled each group of nails, (four rows for the bottom sets and three rows for the top sets) on separate pieces of wood so I could adjust the position.  I screwed three sets into the bottom of the box and three sets into a sliding lid. The lid slides back and forth across the box pulling the wool different directions with the nails.

Unfortunately I realised that the box needed to be longer to allow the lid full movement across the nails.  I took both ends off the box to see how much extra movement I needed.

Ends removed

When I did this I could also see that my nails were too far apart.

Too much space between nails

I put some extra wood between the lid and the nails to move them closer together.

Nails are almost touching, (some are actually touching)

I put the ends back on to keep the box strong, with one end shorter so the lid has more movement.

Wool goes in at the open end and comes out where the wool is in the photo

Then to give it a test.  And it works!  It is probably not as good as professional wool pickers, and it only has 200 nails, but I think it will help prepare my wool before I card.

I am so pleased that I could make this myself!

front end of wool picker