Combing Fiber with St. Blaise Carding Combs

St. Blaise combs and hand processed/dyed sheep fleece

St. Blaise combs and hand processed/dyed sheep fleece

I’ve been combing fiber like mad while we’ve been here in Nova Scotia. After watching Robin Russo’s DVD Combing Fiber I was convinced to give it a try, and purchased her St. Blaise combs the next time we were in Vermont.

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Of the interesting tidbits I found out in this DVD, like St. Blaise was the patron saint of wool carders (who knew there was a patron saint of wool carders!!), I also gained a greater understanding of the difference between woolen & worsted yarn. It goes beyond how the wool is spun which I naively thought, and also about how the fiber is processed. In a worsted yarn, all the fibers are aligned in the same direction prior to spinning. Half of the fiber is discarded as waste product leaving only the smoothest best quality fibers (aka: top). This is what gives that smooth even texture many knitters and crocheters enjoy.

Robin reviews the different types of combs and their pitches and what fleece is combed with each. In the end I was convinced her own designed St. Blaise combs that are made in her studio in Vermont would be the best option for me as a well-rounded go to comb.

I definitely was not disappointed, and thanks to her instruction via the DVD, I was combing fleece like a pro in no time. Although I own a drum carder I wanted the combs for working with a fleece requiring a little extra TLC. The combs do a stellar job at removing VM (vegetable matter) and are a must-have for separating the longer/coarser strands found in fibers like icelandic sheep or llama. The other plus is that they are portable, so now I can continue processing fleece while we are in Nova Scotia and leave the drum carder behind in the studio.

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Jewelry--turned-fiber artist with a passion for keepsake gifts & spinning. Fiber work is my way of coping with daily stress and anxiety; whereas jewelry making is my way of releasing it. I enjoy honing my crafts while raising 3 little girls, and vow to use my talents to inspire the creativity within. A native Nova Scotian (valley chick); pinay (mestiza). I have been selling my wares on & off-line for over a decade, and donate my products for grass-roots charitable causes. I love barter!

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