This weekend I dyed a batch of Leicester Longwool that I'd had a while... the fiber looks marvelous!
This afternoon I tried spinning this long stuff! And I mean it is long... the shortest lengths are at least 6" long... and some are evenlonger. It wants to be spun finely... it will not go thick at all. It was so hard to spin that I tried making a rolag and that was a little bit better, but still difficult... So I just finished carding the whole pile... well it's only 10 oz. and fits into a gallon zip lock baggie...Here is the first part of the spinning I did today... this will be a very slow process.
Oooooo, me loves it! This is going to be so much fun to knit with.
A woman from Knit Night was given some alpaca a few months ago and asked me if I'd spin it for her. After returning one of the fleeces that had moths in it, I picked thru, washed, drumcarded and spun the other fleece. I finished it several weeks ago, and finally delivered it to her this afternoon. She was so pleased with her yarn she gave me a hug, and I was so pleased with her happy reaction! Total yardage 110 yards, a 3 ply - plied S, singles spun - Z, 12 WPI = DK weight
Even though I carefully weighed out the fiber into 3 - 27 gram piles, I ran out of single on the 2nd bobbin. So I stopped plying, unwound the two remaining bobbins, measured them into 3 equal lengths and started plying again, thus the two separate skeins. It has a nice silky hand, and glistens in the light, but I was disappointed this was not baby soft as I had envisioned.
I have had some alpaca that comes out wonderful.. other alpaca not so much. It does look nice.
Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who has experienced this then. And thanks Susan! :o)
I was told by Patsy Z that the fiber was not as soft as other alpaca, so that made me feel a lot better. This was the rougher of the two fleeces. I'll bet the one I returned would have been so beautiful. It was a soft ginger brown fleece.
One of the local guild ladies raises alpacas... I've had some of her fiber that is fabulous... but this particular one was a mixture of all of her alpaca fiber, and I think that may have been the problem. Not sure. And from what I understand, any particular kind of fiber can be a bit off from the standard...as most animals get older, their fibers do not stay as soft as when they are young.
How was the class with Patsy Z? BTW.
With sheep, as they get older the fleece gets coarser because they produce more kemp fibers.
I've read that about sheep and do not doubt it, exept it is my understanding the CVM/Romeldale fleeces get softer as they get older!
We met a couple who raise alpaca while we were in Estes. The husband was talking about how one of his older males still has a micron level of 22 and was glad I knew what he was talking about. That is pretty awesome.
That IS awecome!!
I think it is because they really watch their animals' diets. I was surprised to hear that the richer the diet, the corser the fiber. So they feed their animals hay/alfalfa during the winter months and only hay during the summer. The alfalfa is high in fat.