Spinning Tuesdays: Dizzing from a Drum Carder

I took a quick drum carding class from Sarah Anderson this winter and one of things she demonstrated was dizzing off of a drum carder.

I tried it and it’s fun and easy. Perfect if you love drum carded fiber , but don’t like spinning from batts.

You need a drum carder (mine is a Patrick Green Deb’s Delicate Deluxe), a doffer (the pointy ice-pick-looking tool) and a diz (I use buttons. I love buttons).

Dizz and doffer ready to go

Build your batt. I did a quick striped batt for long color runs. Start by doffing just enough fiber to fit through your diz.

Pull of just enough to fit through your diz

And thread it through your diz.

Locked and loaded

Start dizzing by pulling the fiber slowly but firmly through the diz.

Diz away

There has to be enough tension in your pull for the fiber to run smoothly and steadily through the diz but not so much that the fiber breaks. Here are some tips:

  • Try tipping your diz at a slight angle to the drum carder.
  • If you use a button as a diz, don’t use one with a shank on it. The fiber will wrap around it no matter how careful you are, or how many bad words you say.
  • If the fiber is hard to pull through your diz your fiber is too thick.
  • Keep your hand between your freshly dizzed fiber and the drum carder, or it will catch back onto the carding cloth. Ask me how I know.
  • If your fiber breaks or gets very thin, just doff the next little piece and start again.
  • Don’t expect the pull of dizzing the fiber to turn the drum on your drum carder. I turn my drum a quarter of a turn, diz, then repeat.

The fiber will pull off of the drum in a giant spiral, like peeling an apple. The resulting roving is gorgeous, fluffy and ready to spin.

Please spin me

Use the exact same process to diz layered batts.

Layered batt in process

The roving comes off blended.

Mmmmm layers

Fun, easy and a great excuse for me to buy more buttons.


Here’s something I figured out about storing my drum carder recently. It and all the carding tools fit perfectly into a big blue Ikea shopping bag – it’s the perfect storage solution for me. Everything in one place and the bag makes hauling it off and on the shelf where I store it easy.

Drum carder in a bag

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

8 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Dizzing from a Drum Carder

  1. Jen V.

    This is great, thank you. I had tried diz off my DDD a few times with no luck. This helps tremendously.

    Off to card some batts!

  2. Dawn

    …and thus you filled my rainy day with glorious color and productive mutation of many odd leftover bits into gorgeous fluffy roving. Thank you thank you thank you!

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