More on Alpaca

I finished spinning the brown alpaca pictured in my previous post. Alpacca Yarn  I ended up with two ~6 ounce skeins of worsted weight.  One skein I took back to the art center as a thank you and the other I  think will be enough yarn for either a warm winter hat or as part of a patterned sweater.

When I dropped off the skein of brown alpaca yarn, the art center director dragged me into the storage room and insisted I take some of a beautiful black alpaca fleece to try spinning.  So in addition to the tan/white mixture that I haven’t spun yet, I now have some black alpaca fleece.  I’ll save some of what I spin, again, to gift to the art center weaving program, but it is wonderful fun to be working with this beautiful fleece.  Another friend, who raises llamas, saw that I was spinning the alpaca; she says she will save me some llama to try when she shears in May.  I’ve never spun llama, so this is wonderful.

Black AlpaccaHere’s a photo of the lovely black fleece that I want to try next.  It’s fairly clean and long staple, so I may be able to spin it from the lock without carding it.  We’ll see if that works.  I didn’t wash the brown alpaca before spinning; the  finished skein washed beautifully in a bit of Dawn detergent. Notice in the background of the photo all the portraits I’ve been working on.  Members at the art center have a ‘Friday Figure Group’ which meets to paint portraits of local folks.  I love attempting portraits using the palette knife and pastel.

I found directions for using the Bohus knitting technique in a book of hats and mittens that I’ve been trying patterns from.  It’s a technique that uses only two colors of yarn in a row, but because of the slipped stitches it uses, the patterns that result look as if more than two colors are in a row. I saw this as a chance to use up some bits of yarn that are hanging around, bits that aren’t enough for making anything by themselves, but are enough for a few rows in a pattern. The

Bohus Hat 1

white is hand spun yarn that was left over from a prior project.

The purple and gold are lichen dyed yarn.  The hat knit to a larger gauge than I would have liked (another time I would make the crown less high), but with with the band turned up, it’s fine. The photo is of the hat before it was washed and blocked.  I think I will try a few more of these hats as a way of using up some small amounts of very special yarn that can’t be used in larger projects.  Maybe I’ll use some of the new alpaca yarn in a few of these hats.

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Fiber gifts

Brown Alpacca Alpacca

I stopped over at the art center to find out that they had a surprise for me: someone had donated bags of alpacca fleece to the center for their fiber programs and the director offered me some to try spinning.  The light colored fleece was filled with many ‘short cuts’, but I was able to sort through it and separate out about 6 ounces that I think will spin up acceptably.  The darker brown is already carded and ready to spin; there is about a pound of that ready to be spun.  I’ll see what I can make of it, and donate some of it back to the art center for the weaving class to use.

I’ve tried another Elizabeth Zimmermann baby sweater pattern (a two part sweater from her new garter stitch book).  I picked out some inexpensive acrylic at a local store, thinking that it would be nice to make something machine washable.  The jacket turned out okay, but I sure do prefer working in wool; wool is more elastic and softer.  But the jacket looks fine and I was impressed with the nice garment that resulted.

Finished Baby Jacket