Friday, November 05, 2010


This is the fiber I'm spinning now and have been spinning for the past couple of months. It's a 50/50 blend of hogget Rambouillet and alpaca that I had blended at Morro Fleeceworks about four years ago. Birdsong and I bought the wool from Anna Harvey, split it and had it processed separately.
I am becoming less and less enamored with alpaca as a wearable fiber as time goes on. It's warm like mohair is warm. I have about 15 ounces of the fiber spun up at this point and am undecided on whether or not to dye the yarn. This is triple plied and originally I had planned to make an Aran sweater - I've never made anything from natural white yarn.
This is all the fiber that I have left. I realize that any Aran sweater with the alpaca is going to be unwearably warm indoors. I'm now thinking about a oversized cardigan, but since triple-ply is ideal for cables, I'm still thinking.

I finished my first of the Mood fabrics and I'm more than happy with how it look with blue jeans. At least I have one satisfactory project under my belt. I also had to frog a knitting project today - disheartening. On the plus side, I did pull my sampler off the loom. Disheartening - I realize how many hours it going to take to turn the weaving into a sample book.

It's good to have a satisfactorily completed project. I love my t-shirt and had I tried it on in a shop, I would have bought it. I was stunned to realize that, since I am my own worst critic!


Theresa said...

Oh great t-shirt! Love the print. Was the fabric a two way stretch or 4 way? Just curious how it was to work with and what you used on your machine for stitching ( stretch stitches?)
As one person who advises weaving samples and never does them herself, I can identify. My motto, go forth and do your own happy thing. Let your project be your sample. :)

Nina said...

That T-shirt is very cute. You did a great job with that one. I think most of us are our own worst critics as well. When I do samples, I normally just add a little extra warp to my project and weave one off before I finish the project. That way I can see if it's going to work and I don't have to go to all the work of a specific sample warp. Sometimes I also run samples off at the end of a warp, just to use up the loom waste.

I've spun a bit of alpaca but never actually worn it. I think maybe I'd like an Alpaca blend winter hat and mitts since it's so warm. However, there is an Alpaca consortium around here which seems to be trying to keep the prices artificially high so it's too expensive to bother trying much with it.

Anonymous said...

The alpaca is so gorgeous! I made a cabled toque from my handspun alpaca and love it. The process of making samples is fun for me - short warps and so many options I am usually wanting a longer warp.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

It is so neat to see you branch off on all these different projects, I can see you love the retired life!
Beautiful spinning!

Jody said...

Pretty much every item I knit has North American alpaca in it! I do like to add wool into the mix for sweaters. Alpaca is warm yes but not too warm. The sweater I am knitting is 3 ply 85/15% alpaca/finnwool blend spun 900ypp.
The price of alpaca has come down abit but unfortunately Mill costs for processing have gone up significantly.

Valerie said...

Love the T-shirt. Love the rhythm of the print.

Yeah, documenting the weaving can be tedious. I have a back log of projects to complete the documentaion. However, I was just reminded how valuable those records are when I was digging through 30 years of weaving records to see what I done with M's and O's in the past. So glad to have them and not make the same mistakes over and over again.

Yep, alpaca is warm. It will likely "grow" a bit in row gauge as you wear it, since alpaca doesn't have the elasticity of wool. The 50/50 blend will help as will cable patterning. Twisted stitch patterning would help with that too.

I think how warm one likes to be is a matter of personal preference. But I do find myself wearing a lot of vests around the house in the winter. We like to keep the house cool, and I like to have my arms free to move. So maybe an Aran vest? There are some cute ones on Ravelry.

Just thinking out loud in your comments....

Benita said...

I'm kinda with you - I'm not find of alpaca either.

Love the shirt! I love polka dots.

How great it must feel to wear an original, unique shirt. Yours and all yours!