Guys, I’m really sorry about that pun. Sort of.
You see, last Saturday I turned in my final assignment for my Bachelor’s degree, so I’ve been bursting forth with renewed energy on all the ongoing craft projects laying around my home. And exuberant art energy requires puns.
So that’s my segue into my post today, talking about one of the things I love to do when I have a little extra time – spinning! Well, it’s also just an excuse for shameless yarn porn.
I’ve been spinning periodically, although I haven’t really made a blog post about it recently. I did a silly thing a while back and ordered a massive amount of beautiful alpaca fiber from Alpaca Direct. I resolved to spin it all, and wrote a whole post about it – which, now that I look at that post, was over two years ago. Slow art for the win!
Because, I totally did spin it all! Yep, all of it. Some of it even made it into projects for my friends along the way. This is me, plying together the last bit of the natural white alpaca fiber, on my trusty wheel.
I made it through the pound of natural white, the 12 oz of dark brown, and SOME of the 8 oz of lighter brown (from Valentina) that I purchased at a later date. I eventually gave up on spinning it all consistently, and went in for the fast and wacky approach for the last half of the natural white. I love the variation in textures I got!
For the white yarn, some skeins were consistent, some were chunky, and some were singles. The dark brown (being the first batch I did) was pretty even, and the light brown is a bulky, fluffy affair.
I am really loving these natural tones, which is a good thing because my beautiful friends sometimes give me secondhand fiber. Last summer I was gifted a big bag of RAW alpaca fiber in a beautiful pecan brown color; the catch is, this fiber is really unprocessed.
Which is actually not a catch at all, since I finally had an excuse to purchase some carding equipment! Hand carders (still not enough resources to justify a drum carder 😛 ) were acquired and now I am clumsily learning to use them.
I’m not great at it yet, especially since I have to keep switching to my left hand so that my right arm doesn’t end up noticeably more beefy – this activity is a WORKOUT. But as you can see, I’m producing a few silly looking rolags from the raw material so I can spin them, bit by bit, on the drop spindle.
Its tempting to build a pile of rolags and then spin them all on the wheel for speed’s sake, but for now I am enjoying the process of drop spindling them, so that I can learn how the fibers act when they are hand carded like this. I’ve been favoring the spindle lately anyway, after a period of neglect. Its simplicity and portability is really attractive and valuable, even though wheel spinning is more efficient, so I’m glad I learned both.
The real question is, what the hell am I going to make with 4 pounds of handspun alpaca fiber? Stay tuned, maybe I’ll know in another two years! 😉
UPDATE 9/2020: It did, in fact, take me another two years.