Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yummy Alpaca Handspun!

Well, I finally finished spinning and plying one skein of Raw Alpaca. I set the twist friday night and left the yarn to hang in the basement stairway to dry until this morning. The pictures just do not do this yarn any real justice. I just can't stop touching it. It is soooooooo soft! I am knitting a manly scarf for a Christmas trade and I just know that I will have to spin up some more of this fiber to knit something else because it is just so YUMMY!

I purchased 5lbs of this raw alpaca at the Farmers Market in Athens MI, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. I bought a pair of hand carders at a garage sale, I got a great deal on them ($25) and I used them to hand card this fiber for spinning, AND, I spun it all up on a drop spindle. I have been dreaming of buying a spinning wheel, but it will probably be a while before I can purchase one, so until then it takes several days to spin and ply and set the twist on a skein this size. This skein is 186 yds of yarn, and I still have to measure it on the yarn gauge for WPI to find out the weight. I want to say it is a worsted weight.

Right now I plan to sit down with a cup of tea and wrap the yarn into a center pull ball, and then CO for the scarf and spend the day knitting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Knitting

Well Christmas time is here, and winter has hit Michigan with a vengeance. Just a few days ago it was mild and sunny, the grass was green, and now it is a whopping 9 degrees outside, with a severely bitter windchill and at least 4-6 inches of snow. That is not very much snow, but with the previous mild weather and the wind and drifting it is rather cold, icy, and COLD outside. And to make matters worse, the one pair of wool socks I have knit for myself suddenly have holes in the soles. I just mended one sock yesterday only to find the second sock starting a hole today that was suddenly threatening to expose the entire sole of my foot if I did not stop wearing it. I was loathe to take the socks off and now my toes are like little ice cubes, bereft of warmth until my socks are repaired. I really need to knit myself a few more pairs of socks, but my Christmas knitting projects require all of my time right now.

The picture above is of some raw alpaca I am spinning to knit a man's scarf for a trade. I found a great pattern on Ravelry and plan to ply the yarn and set the twist tomorrow so I can start knitting on saturday. I have devoted my weekend to knitting this scarf. I need to have it finished and off in the mail by the 18th for it to arrive in time for Christmas. I hope to get a minimum of 200 yds of worsted weight yarn out of this batch. If I need to spin more I will have to stay up late and get up early to make sure I have enough time to accomplish everything.

The other day I stayed up until almost 1:30 am finishing up a pair of fingerless mitts for my mother. Tonight my daughter stopped by and snatched up those fingerless mitts as soon as she saw them exclaiming over her frozen hands as she begged me to let her have them. Of course, I let her take them home and now I will be CO a new pair for my mother. I told my daughter the fingerless mitts wouldn't help her too much in this bitter cold and were more suitable for wearing inside this time of year, but she did not care. I think she just wanted them for herself all along. She is always complaining that I never make her anything, when in reality, I make her many things and she never likes them because she is far too picky.

Well, as much as I would love to chat some more, I must get back to the knitting and the spinning or I won't have any gifts under the tree this year.

Maybe tomorrow in addition to getting a few pics of this bitter winter weather, I will take a few photos of all my current projects so you can see what I've been up to.

Happy Knitting