Pre-Drafting: In the 10-Minutes-A-Day Group on Ravelry, I mentioned the Border Leicester fleece that I had processed and am currently spinning. Someone asked how I got it from cloud to roving, and I thought it would be much better “explained” visually.
This fleece had a staple length of about 7-8″, and it came back from the processor carded into a “cloud” or fairly thin batt. I’ve been pre-drafting each cloud into what I’m calling roving, for lack of a better term. For the purist, the final yarn is probably somewhere between woolen and worsted, that is the fibers aren’t all parallel (truly worsted), nor are they all perpendicular to the strand (woolen), but the finished yarn is more smooth than fuzzy.
This shows drafting (pulling) the cloud into a thinner strip or roving. It will take some practice, and the distance between your hands will vary depending on the length of the fleece. If it pulls apart (which will happen from time to time) just overlap the ends, and keep going.
Once you have some drafted, start gently winding it into a ball. With the resident critters, I don’t wait very long before I start winding 😉
I spin from a ball like this, and draft it to the thickness I want – I mostly seem to be spinning fairly thin lately.