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?

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