Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alpaca!

I am starting to get more comfortable with the new computer and I think I will survive. Whew. There are some fun new features like the photo gallery which is taking some time to get used to, but I like it. Having the clock and calendar on the desktop is great, but the stock quotes is so depressing that I may remove it. Trying to hold tight in that area and not sell is a challenge, but since I will be working till I am 80, I guess I can hold out for recovery.

I finished Chun-soon's Odessa hat. Actually, I finished it twice........ The first time it was not nearly long enough, so I frogged back the decrease section at the top, added more length and finished it again. I think she will be happy. I am glad it is over, since I knit the equivalent of 2 hats, with all the errors and frogging. The free pattern is available through Ravelry, but was originally published by the now defunct Magknits. This is the link to the designers website: Grumperina.


Since it is the end of the month and I want to enter the September challenge in the Spindler's Group of Ravelry, I have been frantically working on my Merino fiber. The challenge allows any amount of finished yarn, so I am going to stop today, wash it and then have it ready by Tuesday. I had less than 4 oz to start with, and I don't have much fiber left, but I will end up with a large skein and a mini-skein once I finish it all.
Yesterday, I went to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds for Alpaca on the Rocks, an all alpaca show for breeders and crafts people. It was such a last minute decision to go, that I didn't have my camera with me...RATS! Those alpacas were so photogenic. I haven't been working on my February Lady Sweater lately, because of my fear of running out of yarn, so I took my swatch with me to try to match the color and weight at this show. SUCCESS!!!!

I walked all the aisles with my swatch, and even enlisted unsuspecting fair goers to help me determine the best match. Luckily, the original yarn was natural and not dyed, so I only had to search through the white samples. Even then, there was quite a bit of variation in the samples.

I had not yet tried to spin alpaca fiber and this was the perfect opportunity to pick up some local fiber that was very inexpensive.

The first one is dyed by Yvonne Reimer of Carrot 'N Diamond Alpacas of Colorado Springs. It is only a couple of ounces and will be a nice accent to add to a project. Yvonne doesn't knit or spin (they send the fiber out for that) but she dyes beautiful variegations of yarn and fibers. Her specialty, however, is wet felting of the fiber and her creations of bowls, slippers, hats and especially the wine bottle holders were terrific. Another interesting item was her felted soap. The bar of soap is totally enclosed in felted alpaca and as it is used it continues to felt growing smaller and smaller until you are only left with a small felted ball of alpaca.

This one is 4 ounces of natural alpaca from two different animals from Cheryl Keydel at Ancient Treasures Alpaca Ranch. She has a ranch with about 20 alpacas in Arvada and has lots more of this fiber and if you would like some, contact her.. But save some for me, in case I need more. She told me that the two contributors of their fleece for my fiber are Frostie and Tia Alyst....awwwww.
I so enjoyed talking to the breeders and fiber people. I was able to watch several wheel spinners and talk at length about the craft that I am growing addicted to. This is such a small show that there were no crowds and I got my fill of petting both the animals and the fiber. I wish I could convey the softness through these photographs, but you will have to take my word for it. I will leave the animals to the breeders and enjoy the fiber in my home.

To my Jewish Friends and Family: L'Shana Tovah. A Sweet Year, A Healthy New Year to you all.

6 comments:

Lupie said...

The hat is amazing and makes me want to knit something with beads.
To a wanna be spinner the fibers look very soft and are calling me!

Timiae said...

Gorgeous hat! I'm inspired...

You'll love spinning alpaca! It's so soft and spins up so easily. I'm working on some brown alpaca myself that I carded up (my first time!). Can't wait to see the yarn after it's all spun up (especially the 2-toned).

Ginny said...

That roving is beautiful! I just want to give it a little squeeze.

The hat with the beads is so elegant looking, you do lovely work.

CSLi said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new hat already! OOh it's so pretty!

Thank you, Liz...see you when you visit!

Steffi said...

What lovely fiber! I really MUST learn to spin...

pegi said...

Hi...I love the hat..it's really beautiful and the beads give it just the right touch. I don't know how to spin (yet) but your roving makes me want to!!