With Margaret Peterson, and back to Niela

Sunday we woke to thick fog.  Very thick fog.  It didn’t matter as we were not going far, only over to South Nesting to see Margaret Peterson, fine spinner and fine lace knitter extra-ordinary.

Margaret has been ill and so instead of her having to cook,  we took a Chinese carry-oot with us.  And sat and talked.  Nigel has known Margaret for a couple of years, and he was delighted to see her again!

After lunch, and with the fog lifted, Steve and Nigel went for a long walk leaving Margaret and I to talk over everything spinning and knitting, including me passing on a variety of messages from pupils of hers in the past…  It was wonderful to see Margaret again.

Then yesterday I was back to Niela’s to finish off sorting the workshops we will be doing together later in the year.  That done, there was time for me to see what an electric carder was like.

Niela has an electric Louet.  The best way for me to see how the electric was different in operation to my hand one was to make batts, so Niela found a few bags of bits.  She showed me first, laying down a base of wool first before starting to add the interesting bits.

These included bits of sari silk fabric, silk cocoons and some sparkle of various types.

This was followed by more wool, again fleece dyed by her.  Then more bits and finally another layer of wool.

Like a plain box, you really have to open it up to see the goodies inside.

Then it was my turn.  My primary aim was to learn to use the thing, so I started with plenty of fleece.  I quickly found that it was very much like my own Louet – but easier as you had two hands for the loading/packing and no hard work cranking the handle!

One thing that we did realise early on was that it was the ‘wrong way round’ for me – I am left handed and could have done with being on the other side of the machine – the side against the wall.  But Niela did the ‘packing’ for me and we worked very well as a team.

My batt looked like this….

….fairly staid on the outside but with plenty of sparkle inside.  Pink and lime silk splashes, lime Angelina, holographic sparkly nylon – none of which would show up for the camera.

One other thing I was able to do at Niela’s was to try on the prototype of one of her new designs.  It was GORGEOUS!!  Can’t say more, but keep an eye on her website a bit later in the season…!

Later in the day. Steve, Nigel and I went over to Brae to Frankie’s Fish and Chips for supper.  The only time I ever have chips is at Frankies, and this time they had king scallops.  Magic!!


5 thoughts on “With Margaret Peterson, and back to Niela

  1. your batt looks like a mermaid’s fancy:) lovely, I am looking forward to pix from the finished yarn. I was tempted by the e-carder at first, but decided that I’d have to do much more carding to “qualify” for one! as it is I don’t even use the handdriven one often enough. I tend to be lazy and spin fibres by the handful instead of blending them….

  2. I have a Louet junior and am looking into buying aa Louet electric one. Are they as good as mine for getting rid of little neps and bits and pieces. The junior l have does a good job at this but l have been told the licker in should do this. Any comments?

    1. Drum carders are not designed to remove neps – to do that you really need to comb the staples. But the electric carder produces a very smooth batt if fed fleece. Texture can be put directly on the main drum, as with the hand versions.

      I would say that the hand driven and electric Louets work in a very similar way, but the electric version is easier on the arms, and you can make a thicker batt of you so desire.

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