Last Saturday I went to a local farmer's market and talked at length to the "alpaca lady". She was really sweet and gave me tons of information. AND...I walked away with three bags of unwashed alpaca-black, carmel, and white. When I got home I immediately washed a handful of each and have already spun up some of the white. I really love working with it so far--it's different than working with wool-but not too much. It just adds more fuel to the fire of my dream to have a hobby farm of my own. Or to find a single farmer. . . . . .
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Well, here are the two colors I've been working on to make a couple of baby hats for the owner of Gracie, the sheep the free wool came from. I also spun up some of the natural color of the wool to knit it into stripes. Both colors were achieved with Kool-Aid--Berry Blue, and Fruit Punch with Lemonaid. Now I've started knitting-but its a struggle cuz I'm not to great at it. If I get enough knitted up I'll post that next week. I definitely prefer preparing the wool and then spinning it over actually knitting it.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Well....., It all started with a craving for pickled beets. That bright ruby colored juice looked like the perfect dye for some freshly spun wool. So, after my snack, I drained the juice into my dyeing jar, and added a small skein of white wool. I figured there was enough vinegar in the juice and didn't add any more. I sent the jar and its contents through several "trips" in the microwave and waited for it to cool down. I anxiously pulled out my wool, rinsed it, and was greatly dissappointed. Zip, zero, zilch-not one teeny weenie bit of color. So, the three anonymous tablets of egg color dye that had been sitting atop the microwave got tossed into the jar with a couple of glugs of vinegar. It was an interesting shade of rusty brown til I added the half packet of fruit punch koolaid. Back into the jar for the wool and a few zaps later I rinsed my wool and got a pretty good chuckle--it came out the most beautiful color of beets!!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
http://yarnzombie.net/Travis/?page_id=87 this link is for the site of the home made hackle. I made a much smaller version of it and didn't bother cutting off the handles-I really like it-and I've found it works great for getting the VM out of the wool. I hope to try using it to blend some fibers and use aa diz to make the pencil roving. Gotta finish the pink rolags first.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I call these roses lucky cuz it's pure luck that they even grow in my "garden". I have an area in front of my deck that has a few rose bushes, daisies, and black eyed susan's planted there by the previouse owner. I do absolutely nothing to this area-so it must thrive on neglect. Every year a couple long stem roses sprout up. I cut them and enjoy them for a few days then hang them up to dry. I have a thing for dried roses, love to hang bunches of them around the house. So these will be added to the bunch.
This week flew by so fast-I didn't get nearly as much work done on my wool project as I would have liked. I managed to figure out how to make a home made "hackle" from something I saw on-line. Then found that my old horse hair comb works great with it. I just fluff the wool out by hand, push it down over the hackle and comb-several times--it still doesn't get everything out-but I don't have near as much hand picking, and with this pink and blue for the baby hats I want to be especially "picky". Then I just card it into rolags. I started to spin the blue-trying to make it thin for a "baby weight". yarn after plying. That's hard for me cuz I love to do lumpy bumpy art yarns. So, after this long holiday weekend I hope to have some finished yarn and maybe actually start to knit the hats. Have a safe and happy 4th!