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