Monday, July 13, 2009

Lust at first sight

Dateline: late 2007
The Place: The Salvos Op Shop, Castlemaine
The object of my desire: a plastic bag containing over a kilo of lustrous, soft, silvery-grey BWM Alpaca 'laps' for the princely sum of $5
$5 ?
for a kilo ?
I had no idea what the going rate for ' laps' should be ... and what were laps anyway ?

did I spin ? well no, not unless you count a brief flirtation with a drop spindle back in my art teaching days 30 years ago
own a wheel ? nyet
was that going to stop me ? not on your Nellie

and that's where it started
A friend from quilting offered the loan of a wheel and a quick how-to, along with the [rather dogmatic ] statement that alpaca wasn't for beginners ... that, at the very least, I'd need to card it with something a bit more beginner friendly which she could supply. Arrangements were made and she sold me a bag of plain, pedestrian, beige Corriedale cross. I yearned for my gorgeous alpaca but in my heart of hearts I knew that she was right, the Corriedale was probably a better place to begin and I didn't want to ruin my lovely find.

I acquired a wheel of my very own thanks to lovely Lisette and I was off... as has been chronicled before

Fast forward to this week and the current Tour de Fleece-fueled spinning frenzy.
That seductive alpaca has been singing its siren song every time I reached past it for another denizen of the fleece tub
and on Saturday I succumbed
I completely ignored the injunction to blend it with something easier to handle and you know what? Somewhere along the line my spinning skills must have caught up to my ambitions because the 'sacred' alpaca has been a delight to spin [ once I overcame my tendency to chronically underspin everything ]

First bobbin:
which was then duplicated - you don't need a photo of that because it looks the same...
then the two were plied together - which takes forever
then wound onto the niddy noddy for skeining
washed and whacked into submission
dried in front of the fire
et voila
320 metres of lovely soft silveriness


Alice said...

Very professional looking....can't wait to see how it knits up and what you make of it.

Bernie said...

Hi Susan, I am leaving on two weeks vacation tomorrow and will miss your creative post. I love all that you do and enjoy your end projects....Have a wonderful two weeks and stay warm....:-) Hugs

Blessings each day said...

This is so amazing...still wish I could watch it happen step by step.

Absolutely loved the post on Bear and his "birthday"...he is too cute. How could you have resisted him?? Does Bear like people...would he let them pet or hold him??

blessings and hugs,


Kate/Massachusetts said...

It is beautiful! I'll be curious to see how it knits up!

Taphophile said...

Much green-eyedness over your bargain and swooniness over your yarn. Divine. I bought much fibre before I had a wheel or a spindle. It was bowing to the inevitable.

Tracy said...

That is lovely.

Jackie said...

Gorgeous! What are you going to make with it?

Donna Lee said...

That is indeed silvery goodness. I have a few bags of alpaca that I bought at a show. They need to be washed (I've tried to spin them pre-wash and they are DIRTY)and then I'll play with carding and spinning them. Your silver colors are so pretty. What a great find!

Alwen said...

Oh, it looks lovely! Pretty much all the alpaca I've petted is soooo soft.

Sheepish Annie said...

Wow. That is just lovely! I'm always amazed by how fluffy stuff can be so magically transformed like that. (even after years of spinning, it still just floors me...) Well done!