Art batts are wonderful things. If you’re a spinner, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Non-spinners, welcome to the wonderful world of fiber.

This, my friends, is an art batt.

turquoise-orange-art-batt

It is a mix of fibers and textures carded together and prepared for a spinner, who will sit down at a wheel or with a drop spindle and create beautiful, one-of-a-kind skeins of yarn.

I know, I know. You were thinking an art batt was a flying mammal with a proclivity to paint with watercolors or draw. But no. Not even close. It is the joy of hand spinners everywhere. And some felters too. We never want to leave out those felters.

Art batts start out with a variety of fibers.

Merino-roving

I started with some hand-dyed Merino wool. The color combination inspiration came from an unlikely source: the October cover of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

Better-Homes-and-Gardens-Cover

Maggie saw the cover and fell in love with the oranges, blues and whites. She thought those colors, combined, would make a gorgeous yarn . And I have to say she is right.

So off to the drum carder I went. I happen to love my Strauch drum carder with my entire being.

Strauch-Drum-Carder

Isn’t she beautiful! There is something very therapeutic about loading fiber onto the deck, cranking away and seeing what comes out on the other side. If you have any worries or anything you need to work out, a few hours at the drum carder will clear your head and have you back on the right path. Not to mention you’ll have numerous art batts to show for your therapy.

So to the dyed Merino wool, I added a bit of silky bamboo. This will add a bit of shine and luster to the yarn when its spun up.

shiny-orange-fiber

But because a little shine and glitz is never enough, I threw in some iridescent Angelina fiber in a deep copper color for a bit of glamour.

Fiber-Bling

Then it was just a matter of layering and continuing to combine.

Fiber-on-the-Drum-Carder

As the fibers roll through the carding drums, they become lined up and ready for spinning. The spinner then has the choice of where to pull the fiber from the art batt. Want a few yards of blue yarn followed by white and then orange? Then that’s how you pull out the fiber for spinning.

turquoise-orange-art-batt

Or you could just spin it from left to right, giving you a mixed color yarn with a random pattern.

Spinning yarn from an art batt truly allows the spinner to become the designer of their own yarn.

Now its back to the drum carder for me. I’m going to go look at lots of other magazine covers for color combination inspiration. What are some of your favorite color combos? Let me know. It might make for a great art batt.

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