Last week I spent 5 days in a class in preparation for my Series 7 exam and that was after spending the last three weeks racing through the textbooks so that I wouldn't be totally flummoxed on day one. Great instructor, but it was like squeezing an entire college course in a week. Whew....he talked fast, but at least he was entertaining as well. My window for taking the exam opened today and I scheduled it for 3/26 which means two more weeks of cramming while the class is fresh in my mind. Practice tests, practice tests, practice tests....... if I go over them often enough, it should stick in my aging brain.
A week ago Sunday, at the last minute, I decided to take the day for myself and went up to Longmont for the Alpaca Festival. I went to one last summer and had a ball, so it was my perfect break from studying. Many of the same vendors were there, and there were plenty of cute fuzzy creatures to pet.
I learned the difference between Suri and Huacaya alpacas both on the hoof and with the fiber. As a matter of fact, one rancher from Country Haven Farm just gave me a handful of Suri fiber, since I mentioned that I had never really worked with it before and didn't know the differences. It was unwashed so it would be an adventure to prepare it to spin it. In case you didn't know the difference, Huacaya are the fluffy ones, and Suri are the ones that look like they need a haircut. Suri fiber is much longer, silkier with curly locks and and is considered a more premium fiber.
I also purchased, and proceeded to spin some clouds of the softest aqua/lavender fluff from Goosebump Yarn Co. I jumped right in spinning it, even before I photographed it. Here is 3 oz of singles, ready to be plyed. I worked hard to keep the singles a bit thicker, so the two ply will be worsted weight when finished.
From Switzer Land Alpacas, I got some washed black fiber, which is ready to card with my new carders I purchased a month ago and haven't put to the test yet. More adventure.
And last but not least, I bought about 2.5 oz of prepared roving in a mix of greys, blacks and tans from Deer Valley Alpacas. This is naturally colored and not dyed and should be really tweedy when spun. Here is the bobbin in progress still on the wheel and some of the unspun roving.