Tuesday, March 26, 2013


    Last summer/fall my mother bought me three (count 'em three) garbage bags full of alpaca fiber.  There were three alpaca blankets sheered from alpacas at a nearby farm. Two are the creamy beige you think of as typical for alpacas, and one is a gorgeous dark brown.  I am ashamed to say these bags have been sitting in the laundry room for all this time, waiting for me to get up the nerve to try to spin this fiber.
    I got some advise from a spinning list  I am a part of, but still waited.   One woman told me she would spin it without any processing - without washing or carding or anything, washing any dust out afterwards.  So, I tried it.  The fiber is amazingly free of v.m. - a few pieces of hay and some seeds, but not much more.
    The fiber experience is lovely.  It is more slippery than wool, and SO soft.  I think I may be a convert.  I will never give up spinning wool - there are so many wonderful types - but I do love alpaca. If I ever get my farm, I may just have to have a few alpacas as well as sheep!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break

  I am not a person who takes breaks.  Thus, I  have to find activities which allow me to slow down  while still thinking I am "doing something."  I keep bees for this reason.  One does not go work with the bees if you are feeling jumpy and agitated.  They will become agitated if you move too fast or treat them roughly (life lesson there).  So I have to slow down to work with them.  It is good for me as well as the environment to tend to them.
   For this same reason - the need to slow down - I spin.  Not exercise spinning, but fiber into yarn. It is a relaxing task, with a tangible outcome, but it forces me to sit for a while.  I can listen to the radio, or an audio book, or just be quiet. I have not taken the time to spin in a few month.  Too many "have to" tasks got in the way.  So I took some time on this first weekday of Spring break and plied some of the yarn that I have had sitting on bobbins since Christmas or earlier.  It is not fancy - just some Icelandic wool in natural colours, but I can hardly wait for it to be dry so I can start working with it.  What I will knit it into I am not certain, but I have plans to hold a little of it out for a small weaving project I have been hatching.
the first skein is a bit more nubbly than the other two
Hanging over the dehumidifier so the extra moisture won't wreck all the books!