Thursday, June 4, 2009

Am I getting enough fiber?

You tell me.

This is the last of the Romney fleece spread out on my office floor for skirting. All of the bags contain four different alpaca fleeces. Each fleece came sorted into either two or three bags depending on the farm they came from. Since I took that photo, the Romney is totally scoured and I've finished washing the seconds from two of the alpacas. With the alpaca, I'm starting with the "worst" fiber first so I can fine tune my washing regime. All four fleeces are cria fleeces, so even the neck fiber is baby soft in many places. I'm discarding more for short staple length than because of coarseness. There are two schools of thought regarding washing alpaca, but all I know is I hate getting dirty black fingertips when I spin it raw. That dusty feeling gives me goosebumps and takes away from the sheer bliss that is spinning alpaca. Thus, I wash.

My June samples for Phat Fiber were sent out yesterday. The theme is "Oceanic". I spun up a merino/tencel roving from Frabjous Fibers into a yarn I called "Clearwater" after the beach in Florida. Then I spun a 4oz wool/mohair roving and plied it with a 4oz hand-dyed Finn roving, both from the Door County Shepherd's Market (see bottom of the previous post for a photo). I ended up with a huge skein I named "Mavericks" after a really wild surfing spot off the California coast. It's surrounded by cliffs and an underwater shelf creates huge waves. It's rocky and dangerous and somehow the dark ripples in that yarn made me think of it. (Click any of the pictures to see them larger)

Unfortunately, I had to cut them up into mini-skeins so they could go into the box. I love getting samples of my work out into the world, but it's always a little wrenching to cut up something I worked so hard on. That Mavericks skein was almost eight ounces of bliss and the Clearwater singles were so silky soft, I wanted to knit something with them right away. I plan to track down some more of that fiber since it was so wonderful to spin.

I did also manage to spin a couple things for the shop. It keeps getting harder to let these go, since I am learning to spin what I love. This is "Mango Pomegranate Smoothie" - merino 2-ply with long color runs. The colors are shockingly bright in person, but somehow, it's wonderful. If it doesn't sell, I'm going to knit a lace scarf with it.

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