Often while demonstrating carding during fiber shows I will get asked how much yarn I will get off one carded batt. Good question and the answer varies depending on the fiber you are carding and the size of your carder. Wool with its bouncy crimps will create a less dense and therefore, less weighty batt while alpaca and other fine fibers tend to pack together more tightly creating a heavier batt. Obviously you will get a heavier batt off a bigger carder as well.
In the picture here, I carded Romney with some bling, had it spun and then I knitted this cap using about 1 ½ batts off the Duncan 16” motorized carder. The batts weighed in a little over 3 ounces.
Now you want to know how much wool you can get off one sheep. Depending on the size of the sheep, you can expect anywhere between 5-20 pounds of raw wool. By the time you pick out all the vegetable matter and wash it, you lose about 30% of this weight. With what’s left, you can expect on average to get 5,000 yards of worsted weight yarn or 3,000 yards of bulky yarn. Typically a bulky sweater takes about 2 ½ pounds of wool, so your average sized sheep will produce about two sweaters.
Are you carding with a Duncan Carder? We’d love to see what you’re carding on our Ravelry site!