Monday, August 16, 2010

Basic Brown

So as I said, I really enjoyed spinning that black alpaca, and was very disappointed when it came to an end. I went into a slight depression -- nothing really seemed to measure up!

But as I was moving something one day, I spotted a bag of a nice brown roving, and remembered that I bought a pound of a nice rusty alpaca about a year (maybe two?) ago from a local producer. I set it aside and promptly forgot about it. I was so happy to see it.

However, I didn't want to start right into it. I had some rich brown wool waiting as well, so I thought I would spin it up. Oh, what a difference! It' s just not very nice at all! It felt coarse and harsh and didn't draft easily, and over all very disappointing. But I persevered and spun up two cops so I could ply it. They are still sitting here waiting to be plied. Just not that enthused about it.

So last night I decided it was just time to do some fun stuff for myself, and forget all this unpleasant wool. I dug out that bag, and pulled out the bag of alpaca... and it's not alpaca!!

It's a lovely cool brown shade, and looks nice through the plastic bag. The label says Blue Faced Leicester in natural dark. I have half a pound. I opened the bag, and Oh, ah, Nice!!! It's great stuff. Very very soft, and so light. Better than alpaca even!!

I couldn't wait to show you what I have. I spun this up last night:
(the colours aren't very accurate)
It said it wanted to be spun very fine, and I was glad to accommodate. And what a pleasure it was to spin! It just flowed so easily, it is beautifully prepared, all combed top, no neps in it... just the best thing I've seen!

I have heard many people raving about how lovely BFL is, and I thought they would go on about anything with just as great a gusto. But they are right! It is very fine, so very soft, and drafts without any effort at all. I love it!!

Oh dear -- do you think I am turning into a yarn snob?!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Middle of Black

Way back in May, at the monthly meeting of the local knitting guild and their annual garage sale, I located a bag of loverly black fibre. I debated whether I should get it or not. I looked over the other tables, not really needing anything you understand, but not wanting to let a real bargain go by! I found a couple magazines (like I needed more?) but resisted getting any yarn of any kind. I have enough!

But I keep thinking about that black roving... and thought about it some more. It was nice, and I could use it, but I promised myself I would not bring anything home!

Eventually, I did the only thing I could: I went over and bought it!! It was a pound of rick black alpaca. So how could anyone resist it? I didn't. It appears no one else was really interested in it.

As soon as I got home, I had to try it!! Nice! So since then, I've been spinning alpaca with my spindle. And I just kept on going. Of course, it wanted to be spun fine, and I gladly obliged. I spin my singles on a paper quill, as you know. It took me a good long evening to spin one cop.

I plied up on skein, and it was really nice hanging here in front of me! And of course, I just had to do more.... and I kept on spinning.

Now, a pound is quite a lot, and spinning fine, it seemed to just go on and on and on. It had to end, I know, but at the moment, I was enjoying playing with the roving. It was carded and was very nice. A little VM now and then, but I didn't mind.

When I got near to the last bit in the bag, I decided to see how long it took me to ply one skein. I timed myself on the weekend -- I didn't do anything else but ply. I watched a couple of old TV shows, and a couple of Indiana Jones movies. Do you know it took me a little over 5 hours? I think it took me about that long to spin one cop as well. So that is a lot of spinning!

What would one charge for one skein? Considering all the time I spent on it, this is not very cheap yarn! Of course, the financial outlay was relatively small, but the amount of man-power that went into even one skein makes this a very expensive yarn!

Here is a pic:
Do you know that it is really very hard to get a good photo of black yarn? Who knew?

It's quite fine, and I like it. I have 518.6 gms -- that is a little over a pound. I have 6 skeins, of about 180 - 200 metres each. I'm not sure what I will do with them, but there is a lace shawl KAL that is just starting, and I may use this yarn for that. Although, I would like to know what the pattern will be before I commit to this yarn!
Maybe I should look around for another project. It will probably be lace... it's too fine for anything else ... and maybe it will have a few beads too.