Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Spinning alpaca

This is the alpaca that I machine washed and dried.  After picking it open, I drum carded it on my large carder.  The pound of fiber gave me 18 batts.

I decided to spin this on my Aura because of it's large bobbins.  I will spin 9 batts on each bobbin and then ply it to a two ply.  This is the single from one batt.  It spins up quickly and there is no waste.  I didn't even have to fiddle with the spinning wheel, just sat down and spun it up.  It's a good thing the whole process will be quicker than normal, since I have another 3 lbs to wash and spin from the same fleece.

The Suri alpaca on the other hand was difficult.  I talk all about that in a short podcast on www.yarnspinnerstales in episode 102.  After lots of trial and error I finally settled on carding it with my hand cards, which worked well to spin.

I even had trouble with spinning the Suri, I had to change drive bands on my Ashford to keep from getting too much twist in the single.  I finally got things worked out so the wheel was happily spinning the carded Suri.  I love the color, it is a deep brown.  I will ply this too but not sure yet if I will do a two ply or chain ply.

Neither yarn will be lace weight and may even be too thick for socks.  I don't like 100% alpaca for sweaters, they don't hold their shape very well.  So both yarns seem to be destined to shawls or afghans.  I am sure my cat would just love sleeping on my lap with an alpaca afghan under him!

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