Posted by: mick | August 5, 2008

Something new

I know I’ve been kind of absent, and I don’t really have an excuse. We’ve been doing some wedding planning, sure, but mostly we’ve been sleeping in, reading, and watching lots of Buffy. I think we deserve it.

I haven’t really posted about spinning since introducing Sven, mainly because there’s been nothing to tell. I walked away from him after my unsuccessful attempt at plying, and I was just really frustrated. I needed a break, it seems, because last night I took him on the porch and sealed him with some wax. After it was dry, I decided to try my hand at the first fiber I ever bought. Last year at the Michigan Fiber Festival, I had the best time talking to Maple of North Star Alpacas. She was really sweet and kind, and helped me pick out a small bit of alpaca (1 oz.) to try my hand at. The alpaca was from Beau, and I love that his photo is on the label (which I saved, of course).

I’ve been saving this fiber because I thought that alpaca would be too hard for me to try. However, last night I sat down, and it went through my hands effortlessly. I spun up the ounce very quickly, much to Jason’s shock and pride. He sat there and watched me the whole time, his mouth agape, both of us afraid to speak and jinx the rhythm I’d established. I never once overspun the fiber; it seemed so easy! I wonder if the mystery fiber I got in my kit with my spindle was the problem with my previous attempt for some reason, because this alpaca was like buttah. I emerged triumphant, with this lovely, natural yarn on my bobbin.

I love the color, and it’s super soft. Unfortunately, it appears I actually underspun it, as when I went to skein it it kept breaking. However, I spun with no back-ups in the orifice, and that is a huge victory for me.

And so today, after a lovely run and some lunch, Jason and I had some fun with dyes. We locked the cats on the porch, donned our masks, and made some dye stocks. Then we each made some colors, and took them to the pot. I’ll give you some results tomorrow. How’s that for a teaser? While I was waiting for the roving to cool, I even plied my two bobbins of mystery fiber. I’ve got about 23 yards of bulky-ish two-ply, which will become a stripe in a hat or something. I was shocked to find that, after all of that overspinning, it ended up being pretty balanced. I’ll shoot it tomorrow, too, if it’s dry!



  1. Wow, that’s crazy impressive – no wonder Jason was in awe. Can’t wait to see the results of the collaborative dying!

  2. ha! can’t wait to see the wool…

    and welcome to the magic that is plying 😀

  3. I’m looking forward to seeing how your dye comes out – I always thought it would be way more cost effective to buy the bare yarns that knitpicks sells and dye my own sock yarn.

    When you do ply, can you show us a picture? I’ve always wondered how that is done…

  4. The alpaca looks lovely – so soft, and beautiful color! Great job 🙂 (You can run it through your wheel again to add a bit of twist, if you like.)

    The dying experiment sounds like fun!

    P.S. Your Clapotis is gorgeous!

  5. Ha!  You big tease!  Can’t wait to see what the colours turn out like…

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