Friday, 21 October 2005

The disaster that was the suri (April 1, 2005)

Damn, my hair looks short in that icon now. Anyway...

I started spinning my Suri alpaca fleece last night. It's a gorgeous, silky fleece - almost like my hair when it's brushed, but the tips break really easily so when I tried to spin it, it lost its lustre and came out looking like string. Not the effect I was after! In the end we had four of us, all trying different methods on the alpaca to see whether we could figure out the best way to draft this stuff to make it look good. An interesting challenge. Anyway, in the end we did get a decent looking thread out of it, although I think I'm going to have to experiment a bit more to get it right. It was a bit of a culture shock, going straight from the industrially-combed, civilised merino directly to a raw unprocessed alpaca fleece. Must take intermediate steps next time, I think.

I also managed to buy a book of knitting and crochet patterns for homespun wool, which has just been reprinted. It's been out of print for a while and is apparently as rare as hens teeth and extremely sought after. There are some gorgeous shawl patterns in there, and no less than six patterns for beanies - so now when I want to start a the beanie for H I have a pattern and all I need are needles now. Score! (On top of that, I think there's enough wool there to make H a scarf as well as a beanie so he'll have a matching set).

I also bought 100g of a lovely olive green combed merino tip. It matches the yellow/green/brown silk caps I died a couple of weeks ago, and I think I'll spin the wool up finely and ply it with the silk, to make myself a scarf and perhaps a little beanie as well.

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