Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fluffy Fiber Fun on Feet

Monday the spinners got together at Linda's place in Peoa. Before getting out our wheels, we went out to see Linda's fuzzy friends in the pasture.

Paca3a

It was a beautiful spring day, and we enjoyed seeing the alpacas out in the sunshine. Last season's babies are getting big, and several of the females are already pregnant. While we were there the call came from the lab. Another female tested positive for pregnancy.
Before we got out our wheels, Linda showed us the fiber she dyed with Kool Aid and/or food coloring, and we discussed dying fiber. This fiber was all done this way. It's alpaca.

fiber

Julia had some fiber with her that had been dyed by a friend. The friend had given it to her because the dying process felted it. Linda got out her drum carder, and showed Julia how to use it as Lynda and I looked on. Julia is the one turning the crank:

DrumCarder2

When they got done, the formerly felted fiber (nice alliteration, don't you think?) was now a nice fluffy batt, ready to spin! We talked about how much the alpacas like the dandelions, so everyone went back out to feed some to the little fiber machines. They are due to be sheared in early June. I hope I'm back from my trip in time to watch. Here are some more photos of the animals.

Paca11

I thought this was a cute one of a mother and daughter:

Paca10a

We did get some spinning in. My second bobbin is almost full with the Coopworth we ordered from Oregon.
Another item of news: I ordered a WooLee Winder with my stimulous money! It distributes the single or plied yarn as you spin, so you don't have to move it from one hook to the next to keep from getting mountains and valleys. They have them to fit the major wheels, but it takes its own bobbin. Fortunately, it comes with one. I ordered two extras, which will allow me to ply right from the bobbins they were spun on. I figured that was enough, because I learned Navajo plying in my spinning class, and that gives you 3-ply.
What's on my needles? Nothing new, as you could probably guess. I have my Nonna's Garden Shawl kit, though, so I had the charts blown up in preparation for knitting. I can see the difference between the similar colors better on the bigger chart, which is still not huge. I'm spinning and reading. No quilting or knitting, though. I'm almost done with Monica Ferris's Thai Die, and I picked up her Embroidered Truths on CD, so I can listen to that later on on my iPod when I'm able to knit and/or quilt. Eight days until I get out of the cast. But who's counting?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spin Cycle

No, I'm not doing laundry. I've found one of my activities I can still do with the cast: spinning! No, not the kind of spinning they do at the gym! This kind:
spinning27crop
It was a nice day, so I took the wheel out on the front deck, so Rocky and Sunny could have some company while they enjoyed the sunshine. I have tried to knit, but just can't manage it with my thumb in the cast. The physical therapist I talked with says that when the cast comes off [two weeks from tomorrow, but who's counting?] I will have a splint that brings my thumb closer to the fingers. I should be able to knit with the splint--if I can manage it--and later, for short periods without the splint.
In the meantime, you may have noticed that the capital letters have reappeared in my text. I can now type with my left fingers. I'm trying to take it easy, though.
Reading Material: Debbie Macomber's A Good Yarn. I just finished the last book in Pamela Aiden's trilogy about Mr. Darcy, and enjoyed it very much.
On My Ear Buds: Jane Austen's Persuasion.
Other Activities: Monday night we went to see Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theater in Salt Lake City. It was fantastic. We've seen it before in a bigger theater, but the smaller size of the theater didn't interfere at all.
Sunny and I visited the nursing home yesterday. DH had to drive us, and another volunteer came along to lift Sunny as needed. [I can lift Rocky with one arm, but not Sunny!] We visited with eight people in the dining room. They were all able to pet Sunny, hold her in their laps, give her a treat and brush her. Sunny did some tricks. One lady said that Sunny's tail was cute, even though she was holding it down. I told them that at at home, her tail stands straight up all the time and looks like a stalk of broccoli. She said, "Here the broccoli is overcooked." We all had a laugh. Later we visited several patients in their rooms.
I'm starting to dream about knitting, but only two more weeks before I can try it. [Sigh!]