Busy Bee

I promise I’ve been busy with everything except blogging.

I finally spun up some of the alpaca that I got this summer. Here are two skeins, the top from Chilli B (250 yards) the bottom from Clover (175 yards,) both from Funny River Farms Alpaca Ranch, which we visited this summer.

Both yarns are fingering to sport weight, as I was on a learning curve. Alpaca is fairly different to spin than wool; not necessarily harder, but it seems to require a lighter touch when drafting, and there is a balance to find between enough twist to hold the fibers together and too much twist, which makes a hard and wiry yarn.
I have enough Alaskan alpaca fiber from different coats that I am aiming towards a substantial shawl (I do love my shawls!) that moves in gradiated color from one critter to the next.

I have been plodding along on the Red Sweater, with one sleeve nearly finished. As it’s 16″ of stocking stitch, I’ll spare you until they are both done. And there is a pair of boring, but requested, socks for Andy that are close to finishing.

I started a new shawl from bits of leftover handspun. It’s Evelyn Clark’s Lace Leaf Shawl pattern, and I’m knitting on 3.5mm (US4) needles. I found all the mini skeins of handspun (50 – 100 yards) that were similar weights, and spliced them together so the colors flow from one to another, starting with grey and moving through blues to green. I’m only just getting into the blue section, but I really like the way it’s turning out so far, and I’m glad not to be wasting any of my precious spinning!

For the record, I have to show the spoils of my last yarn splurge, which arrived early this week.
I’m planning a fair isle yoked cardigan, a la Elizabeth Zimmerman, and bought the Jamieson’s Spindrift to make it from Two Swans Yarns. Below are two hanks of Satakeili, which are destined to become a pair of mittens from Nancy Bush’s Folk Knitting in Estonia. It’s very rare for me to knit a project with the yarn called for in a pattern, but here I’m attempting to do it twice over.

I also bought some things from Beaverslide Dry Goods.

This, my friends, is a one pound ball of wool and mohair roving, dyed in the “Barley Heather” colorway. It’s got some neps, but is very soft and fluffy, and the sample spinning I did on my drop spindle shows it to produce a fine and fluffy yarn. I look forward to spinning it soon.

After knitting the scarf for the International Scarf Exchange, I was lusting after a sweater made of Beaverslide yarn, so I gifted myself with seven skeins of “Mountain Mahogany,” a rich brown with flecks of red and grey-green.

It is destined to become Arwen’s Cardigan from the most recent Interweave Knits.

So that’s all the yarn purchasing for the time being, and I feel pretty good that I’ll be able to concentrate on the projects I have picked out for the yarn I have stashed away…

The weather has been VERY cold, well below freezing for over a week. I went out skiing on Sunday and felt very brave when I found out it was -2F. (That was after I got back, of course; otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone.) It has been mostly overcast, with snow showers adding to the already-high drifts, but today the sun came out for awhile. More snow is predicted for tonight, however. Guess I got what I asked for – a real Alaskan winter…

Sunrise was at 9:59, and will set at 16:28, which puts us back up to 6 and a half hours of sunlight, but the days still feel short.


3 thoughts on “Busy Bee

  1. Your spinning is beautiful! I’ve knitted some of my alpaca into an Andean headband pattern from Spin-Off (it is online). I have Folk Knitting in Estonia, too, I look forward to seeing your mittens!

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