Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fiber, Fiber, More Fiber

Erin told me about the Alpaca Farm open house at Brookfarm. It's in Glen Ellen, not so far from us, on a beautiful Saturday -- no way I turn that down. Erin's boys and we met up there. Debbie and Mark, the owners of Brookfarm were happy to see much bigger turnout for their first National Alpaca Farm Day than they had expected.

What a beautiful ranch, a gorgeous location. Beautiful, happy alpacas. They seemed to prefer eating the hay from the kids hands over from the tubs.

Of course there has to be a wheel or two! The owner of the brand-new Kromski let me try it with her beautifully mill-processed alpaca fiber. Spins like a dream! Some of the fiber came home with me.Up above us, a different kind of spinning was going on. I'm not going to explain (ewww!).

A pound of just-off-Bailey fleece tagged along, as a "Fiber of the month" delivery from Charlie.

It's very soft huacaya in silver-gray. Although it hasn't been skirted, the whole blanket looks clean and usable to me. I will wash it though before I spin, as it's pretty dusty.

And this is Heather's alpaca (Alpacas of Sonoma), Bailey, freshly shorn.

After we came home with the huge bagful of fiber, I had a heavy "oh what have I done I already have too much fiber" moment, but as soon as I put it away in the closet, I was back in my old self. We've got to have enough fiber stash to last my retirement years, right? (for which we'll have many more years to go at this rate...)

Marie at Llama Llama Knit, our wonderful LYS, has become an excellent spinner in just a month. I showed her how to use my Ashford Joy (not even "how to spin", which she seemed to know already at the first time she sat in front of a wheel!) early September, and now with her new Louet wheel, she's spinning away like a pro. She spun some dyed Merino I got her at California Sheep and Wool Festival and knitted this beautiful scarf for me. The last time anyone had knitted anything for me was when my mom knitted my gloves when I was eight! I am so moved.

In less than a month Marie has surpassed me, and I've been spinning for two years! She really is talented. Llama Llama now carries some beautiful spinning fiber as well.

My Joy came home with me with a bag full of white cotton sliver (you are too nice, Marie), so I am going to have fun with it for a while! Non-natural dyeing experiment to come. Yes -- so many projects, so little time.

1 comment:

Stefaneener said...

Sounds wonderful! The first time my girls learned to spin was at an alpaca open house -- in Esparto, so it was horribly hot. I still have that gorgeous lumpy yarn.

Lovely scarf. Lucky you!