Tag Archive: alpaca

An Influx of Projects

Alright, I feel a little explanation is in order. After my stunning resolve to not go for more than a week without posting, I promptly up and left for almost thirteen days. The reason? I was in Texas. In Texas with fellow yarn and fiber lovers, running about to various yarn destinations and generally shooting my budget. So, I shall attempt to summarize the many and various things I bought and did.

First off, I took along the indigo-dyed merino and a spinning wheel, hoping to get a bunch more spun. Unfortunately, I didn’t spin quite as much as I’d planned, but I was able to teach a friend to use the wheel, and two others to drop spindle. Now the goal is to finish the indigo merino well before Christmas.


I didn’t spin as much as I had planned because I was working away at my latest pair of socks. The first one is done, and the second is well on its way to the end. I’m now in the “knit until sock measures x length from heel” stage. A little on the boring side, but it needs to be done so I can get to some of the stuff I bought.

Can We Hurry Up and Get to Autumn?

The weather here has been nice, but I am looking forward to the air turning chilly. The more hats and scarves I can wear this fall the better! (And socks and sweaters, of course.) (And cardigans.) (And maybe gloves.) Ahem. Anyway, I got to spend yesterday evening dyeing some new, fall-themed yarns and fibers!

Corriedale Cross Fiber

Beech Leaf - Corriedale Cross Fiber

It’s been so long since I’ve dyed anything. I really enjoyed this stint in the kitchen. In fact, I had only planned to do one, possibly two projects — but, true to form, I wound up doing four. Thankfully I was able to do them without feeling pressured to hurry things up and get out of the way. Going so long without dyeing made everything seem new and interesting once I started again. Of course, it also meant that I was way out of practice. Nothing irreparable, though!

Spinning Fur

Last week was a tough one. Long and tiring. That’s why I’m so pathetically behind on this update. By the time I hit last Saturday I was ready to chill. Really chill. Chill to the point of not having the oomph to pump the treadle up and down. So, I sat on my bed with two or three big glasses of ice water and enjoyed a great book. At least, that was the idea.

I’d been trying to do some fiber-related something every day so I’d have lots of interesting things to blog about, and that afternoon I wound up pulling out the Aussie Fur. That stuff was incredible.


It’s been rumored and hinted at, long in the making, and longer in person. dsc01323
It’s the alpaca scarf! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s so squishy! My sister knit it for me. Thank you again, Mama Mentor, for the beautiful fiber. The yarn was very fun to spin. In fact, if I close my eyes I can still feel the alpaca pulling through my fingers. Ahhhhhh. For the record, it turned out as a sportish weight three ply, spun on the Walking Wheel.

And, though not quite as impressive, here’s the finished merino/silk scarf. My first big knit project. (If you don’t count the little red scarf, which didn’t involve yarnovers.) It’s almost done blocking, and it turned out huge. It’s really more of a narrow wrap than a scarf. But I like it.

If you’re wondering, the tam hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve worked on it a bit. The dyeing has taken up a lot of my attention, but I haven’t forgotten it! In fact, I’ve graduated in my “knitter-ness.” I’ve thought about bringing the project with me on two occasions, decided not to, and regretted it. Maybe I should just strap the project bag to myself.

Slight Deviation

I’ve made splendid progress on the alpaca. In fact, it’s done! Here are the lovely balls of washed yarn. They total just under eight ounces. Two ply, sport weight, very soft.

Finished Yarn

Finished Yarn

So, check off number one on the list.

And, as for number two, well . . . I finished my silk! Yes, I’m trying to distract you. Flax has rapidly lost its sparkle. I’m trying to decide whether to spend the last few days before the trip working on it, or just switch over and do something more fun. Something small. It’s not like I have a whole lot of time. Maybe I should focus on washing wool, since I completely forgot about it.

Less Flax, Please

Well. Let me put it this way. I thought I would never find a fiber I didn’t enjoy working with. This last week, I was proven wrong.

Flax on the Wheel

Flax on the Wheel

Of all the (few) fiber kinds I’ve worked with in my (short) spinning life, this is the only one that has failed to inspire me on the wheel. The stuff feels like dental floss, for crying out loud. Not to mention it makes my fingers feel funny.

Now, I’m not saying it’s the worst fiber ever, and I love the idea of spinning fibers right out of a plant, but I’m glad I only ordered four ounces. It drafts in a very different way from wool, and it’s going to take a ton of twist. And I mean a ton. Right now it has just as much twist as I normally give wool, but it won’t double back on itself at all! Maybe I spun it too thin. Anyway, I’ve reeled the little bit I spun off the wheel so it can dry, then I guess I’ll run it back through with way more twist, and carry on from there.

Long and Silky

I’ve been playing with the alpaca fleece some more! In fact, I’m getting really close to having all the best parts carded up. See my nice pile of rolags?

Carded Alpaca

Carded Alpaca

It was wonderful to switch back to alpaca after heavy crimp fleece. It’s so light! And a bit on the static-y side. The fleece sproings. The alpaca floats.

Mission Impossible?

Alright. First the good news. I finished carding the fall fleece and now have almost a whole basket full of rolags.

Colors Galore

Colors Galore

I still need to weigh it and see how much fiber I actually ended up with. The colors are just beautiful. It was very fun to pick which colors to pair with what in each rolag. Toward the end it got a little tough because I would run out of enough similar tones to keep things uniform, so some less distinct rolags ended up in there, but that’s okay. I got some really pretty blended colors out of it. I’m so excited to see how they spin up! If it turns out nice, I might do some other versions of it.

However, I am putting off starting on them for awhile. We’re going on a trip in a little over a week, and I’m going to try to finish two fiber-related things before we go, in order to have them on the trip. (Because car rides get really long if you don’t have something to do with your hands, and wedging the spinning wheel into the backseat of the van is not an option.)

Back In The Groove

I never thought I could get out of the habit of spinning incessantly, but somehow I managed it while we had company for two weeks. I am now trying to get back in as fast as possible. Here’s the second bobbin-full of merino. That thing is so soft!

Merino Bobbins

Merino Bobbins

And then I pulled the Walking Wheel out from where it had been buried during the visit (it takes up our entire living room, so we had to move it temporarily) and was planning to start in on the alpaca again.

Spinning Away

Despite the fact that I was in the middle of spinning the brown wool, I went ahead and started playing with the Norwegian roving. It spun up quite nicely! I was pleasantly surprised. It was rather inexpensive, which made me think it wouldn’t have as good quality, but I was wrong. It’s a nice, squishy yarn, with just enough coarseness that I think it will wear well. The first skein wound off at a squeak over 70 yards. No clue what the others wound off at.

Three Skeins

Three Skeins