Tuesday, November 19, 2013

 I'm nearly finished blending and spinning more yarn for a friend.  Here are three beautiful, natural colors of alpaca from our herd.  The white is from Diego, the black is from our little Oso and the brown is from a sweet boy named Coop.

After sending the raw fiber to the mill for washing and cleaning, they do another service for me and make it into roving.  Roving is so easy to use for just about anything.  You can see from the brown roving it comes in a long thin strip rolled into the rolls like the white and black are still in.

After deciding on the colors, the roving is placed in the carder.  It goes under the small cylinder on the left and as the handle goes around to make the large cylinder turn, is fed in between the two cylinders.  It stays on the large cylinder due to tiny little 1/4" teeth and can be in any order of colors of you choosing.

Even though these colors seem very different, the carder makes them seamlessly blended into a pleasing  tweed, heather or however you want your yarn to look.  What I am making is called a 'batt'.

Here is the alpaca batt being taken off the carder by pulling it in the opposite direction it went on.  The batt will then be divided by pulling into long strips with lots of variation, spun into singles and in this case spun a second time or plyed together for a stronger 2-ply yarn.  I will post a picture of the finished yarn later when I have it all completed.

It just seems magical (to me) how beautiful it turns out.  I personally love a textured yarn, one that can be woven with the interest in the yarn itself rather than a patterned weave.  The white scarf I showed a couple months ago was a plain weave but the yarn was so interesting it won First Place at our north Idaho Fair.