Tuesday’s Numbers


This is the amount of wool I carded yesterday at the excellent Prick Your Finger show currently showing at the Stanley Picker Gallery.

I loved carding this wool and wrote as much on my labour report, collected by the office that is part of the exhibition.

Unfortunately the machine that would let me work out how many calories I burned using that machine wasn’t attached to the carding machine yet, but it felt like quite a lot of calories as the wool was quite knotty, fresh from the sheep at Mudchute farm and just gently washed by Roger at Diamond Fibres. It therefore required some teasing apart and coaxing, to lie flat.

It is a joy to me to handle wool from animals I have personally met and I really enjoyed how pearly and lustrous the wool became as I successively carded it.

There is Lara feeding the very same sheep just a few weeks ago!

Here is the bat that I made in 30 minutes.


This is the number in the Fleece Orbit that is the M25, from within which this wool came from. I think you’ll agree that Rachael has done an amazing job with the branding for the M25 Fleece Orbit project…

Here are bags of wool from sheep within the M25, laid out and readied to be spun into lustous yarns using either electrical spinning machines powered by bicycle, or traditional spinning wheels, powered by the human body.


1789 was the year in which Edmund Cartwright created the first cylindrical carding machine. Many other combing machines derived from this one, designed for the purpose of carding wool prior to spinning it. I saw one of these early, cylindral carding machines in 2008, in the basement of Coldharbour Mill.

There is a fascinating article on history of spinning/carding technologies here, where I got my dates from, and you can see some beautiful prints in it of early carding machines. Rachael has printed an image of these early carders onto aprons which can be worn whilst performing tasks and labours at The Spinning Mill exhibition.

Obviously I carded my wool by hand rather than by machine, but I enjoyed this historical/industrial link and I love the aprons!

Tuesday’s numbers:

WW points consumed: 24.5 (I think I needed extra energy for all that carding!)
£s spent: £9.80 on bargainous trainfare to Kingston, £10 on a top-up for my ‘phone

Menu: toasted bagel and muesli for breakfast, lentil burgers and salsa for lunch, amazing salmon with vegetables dinner cooked by the wonderfully supportive Mark.

I have put together a very rough recording, since I don’t have a lot of time to edit, for you to listen to Rachael talking about the show and all the ideas behind it. I will write more on this soon, but for now I just urge you to get to the Stanley Picker Gallery with your packed lunch and see all the wonderment for yourselves!

8 Responses to Tuesday’s Numbers

  1. Pingback: Prick Your Finger « Wovember

  2. Pingback: Prick Your Finger – Wovember

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