Thursday, January 13, 2011

Meanwhile, back on the fiber front...

A longish while back, Rebecca and Jessica presented me with 20 oz of alpaca - 10 oz of Suri and 10 oz of Brown Huacaya.  The brown may have been dyed; they weren't clear.  In any case, 10 oz was too much for socks or a scarf, and not quite enough for anything else :-)

L - alpaca, R - colonial wool top

But wait!  I could blend it with another fiber and have MORE.  I eventually bought 8 oz of a mahogany heather colonial wool top (love it when they say that, what kind of sheep is that, exactly?) and started casting around for a drum carder.  Not to BUY one, but borrow it for awhile.

blending by weight

Turns out that Dana in my cycling club has a drum carder.  Actually it is Dana and his wife, and they've got wheels, the drum carder and a couple of honking big looms.  I took myself over for a tour (I am so jealous), got a drum carder lesson and off I went.  (That's me, I don't always know what I'm doing, but usually I can figure it out, to some extent)

first pass

peeling the batt off the drum carder

So, last summer, carded away, and ended up with 18 batts of blended fiber.  

Heap of blended batts

I finally pulled out the wheel and got back to spinning it up.  The first few batts were not much fun to spin.  It just didn't draft very smoothly.  But I got halfway through and had to stop and ply, because I don't have enough bobbins to hold 18 oz of singles, plus more bobbins to ply onto.

Four bobbins, ready to ply

Turns out it was me.  The last 3 batts have been amazing.  I turned it into one long strip, then did some serious predrafting before starting spinning.  It now almost spins itself.  This is SO COOL! (Maybe I should take a class...)

I haz yarn!

I was aiming to replicate Reynolds Turnberry Tweed, which a very kind fellow Raveler send me a sample of.  I think I'm pretty much there.

The yarn wants to be a vest, but hasn't said which one.


Lynne said...


twinsetellen said...

Fabulous. My definition of wealth is a pile of great batts waiting to be spun.

Sari said...

What a wonderful gift! and how lovely your yarn turned out. Truly, bringing the fiber from (almost) start to the final (?) product is a treat!

lynnef said...

Thank you all! I am having great fun with it!

@Sari - are you Beth H's sister Sari?

Michael Lewallen, AIA said...

Thanks for the brief lesson. I really cant wait to see wait to see the end product!

EvoDavo said...

Super cool.

Sari said...

Okay, so I am a bit slow to follow up, but yes, Beth H is my sis. Have you started knitting it up yet?

lynnef said...

@Sari - not yet. I'm in the midst of some epic Alice Starmore Fair Isle right now...