Alpaca Fleece: Sample Spinning Part 1

So it has finally begun. The spinning of my alpaca fleece. It’s been in my possession for about 3 years at this point.  It was processed into batts and some roving by a local pal of mine, Helga. She’s a sweetie and a spinning oracle.

I decided to start out spinning up one of several samples to see how the fiber behaved. The first sample I decided to do was a 2-ply spun from the fold using a hybrid long-draw, forward-draw method. (More or less this means I shot from the hip as far as woolen or worsted. It’s a sample and I was having fun.)

IMG_3321.JPGI really wanted to end up with something along the lines of a dk-worsted weight, so I tried to spin thicker. I tried as hard as I could. Not sure it worked.

One thing I discovered is that no matter how “clean” you think alpaca is, it’s not. This one kept dumping dust and veg matter on my legs as I was spinning it. I don’t mind a little straw and I kept picking out the larger pieces leaving in some of the ones that escaped my claws as “texture” and “rustic charm” added to the yarn.


I spun up about 25g total and then plied it into a 2-ply. I washed it (more dirt and grime came out in the wash) and let it air dry.  I love the fluffiness of this yarn. I love how it has so much loft and bounce. It feels like a cloud (if you could actually feel a cloud). But, I’m not sure this is what I want if I intend on knitting a garment.


It’s rather thick-n-thin in places (yay for novice spinning!) and it doesn’t have enough twist. It’s a bit underspun I feel. I think for a garment I definitely want more twist, and more rigidity. I will knit this up into a wee swatch and see how it looks. I bet it would make a nice lacey cowl or some fingerless mitts.

The next sample I plan to spin is a true 3-ply. I have a 4th bobbin on it’s way so that it won’t be too much of a pain to do. We’ll see how that goes.

Hopefully my next blog post will come sooner rather than later.

Until next time…


And Then There Were Sleeves

All weekend when I wasn’t working on the never-ending bathroom project I was working on my Hitofude.

You start out working the sleeves on this pattern. I assumed that this part would go quick, but alas sleeves take forever no matter what way they are knit.

Finally, at some point early Sunday morning my sleeves were complete! It was a very magic moment as you really had to trust the pattern to get to this point.

I did have one small hiccup when I was seaming the sleeves. I was doing a 3-needle bind off and forgot the bind off part! Had to tink back a bit.
By Sunday night I was on to the body of the sweater. Lots of knitting still remains but I definitely made a good deal of progress.

Until next time….

Week/Weekend Update

This past week ate all of my time for blogging so here is a quick pictorial update.

Tour de Fleece started so there is a lot of this going on. At least 10 min a day i fact. 2oz down and 2 more to go of this fiber.

Hitofude is going slow. Negative progress this week in fact.

Zigzagular socks! This one in fact has a heel now.

My best friend from home visited this weekend. We roasted in the heat and humidity at the zoo, watched a few movies, and ate plenty of junk food. It was a great weekend!

Until next time…


I fell in love with my wheel again at retreat. I took that spinning class and subsequently spent my weekend spinning. I had purchased some fiber from Yarn Geek Fibers at the Iowa Sheep and Wool a few weeks ago and dove into spinning it.

I absolutely love what I ended up with. A gorgeous 2-ply with lots of bounce.


I think I want to pair it with another BFL that I have spun up and make a 2 color shawl or cowl. For now it is going into the stash.

Last night I dug around and found my Malabrigo Nube fiber and started spinning it.


This is a superfine merino and boy is it wanting to spin fine. I am shooting for a 2-ply with this as well!

Until next time….

Another Knitting Virus

While at the ZK2014 retreat there was one sweater that was prevalent everywhere. You would turn and see it. Someone else would walk by wearing it.  Soon all you could think about was this sweater.  I had to have it. Hands down. I once referred to it as knitting STD while at retreat. Others were the same way. They saw it, felt it, and wanted it.



It’s called Hitofude. It’s knit in a very interesting manner. I think if you read the Ravelry description you can see how that’s done. I decided at retreat to purchase yarn for it there. There were quite a few dyers that had yarn suitable, but as soon as I saw Jeanette’s of Sun Valley Fibers‘ in her merino/cashmere/silk (MCS) base I knew what I would be knitting mine out of.

It’s super luscious and drapey and Jeanette’s colors are amazing and out of this world gorgeous. I chose the Waterfalls color.



That swatch shows the gorgeousness of the colors. I’m quite aways into the sleeves. Not quite halfway, but close. It’s a joy to knit and the pattern is easily memorizable.

First repeat done

First repeat done

As you can tell I am rather excited for this project. I’m doing an impromptu knit along with Stacieknits from retreat because we bought the exact same yarn and color for our sweaters! We will be FO twins!

Until next time…





Intense. Fun. Enthusiastic. Wooly. Spinning. Exhilarating. People everywhere.

Some words to describe how my time at the Zombie Knitpocalypse Retreat was this year. I met so many genuinely wonderful people and I felt I have added to my “inner circle” of friends as well.


This is Ann. Ann taught a class on spinning long draw from the fold. I learned (and most likely have forgotten by now) the difference between woolen and worsted fiber prep, supported and non-supported long draw, and many other fun things. I did however, finally feel that I am ready to start spinning my alpaca fleece later this summer. I now have the necessary skills.


This is Fiona and Karl the Koala. They both travelled from Australia to hang out at the retreat and sell Fiona’s yarn. Solar Flair Fibres on Etsy. Give her a look.


This is ExplodingPinecone on Ravelry. We participated in the 5K and did quite a bit of spinning together. Amazing person. (Yes the photo
is upside down but I can’t fix it from
the phone app. I will fix it when I get home.)

The 5K was excellent and I got 2nd place! It was a prediction run so you put in a time a week before and see how close you get! I came in at 35:45 and had predicted 36 minutes flat. Rather impressed with myself and I hope I can continue to improve on that time.


I witnessed the birth of an FO! Handspun socks made by Baconfairy! Gorgeous and squishy (socks were squishy and she was gorgeous). This was another amazing person that I hope to see more of in the future.


Besides new friends, there were also old friends. The person on the left is my pal Lane. She and I met last summer at this retreat and became rather good friends over the last year. We had some more good times this year as well! And I am somewhat sad we didn’t get to use that crockpot.

Javajennie is on the right. She was a delightful person to get to know and has a wicked sense of humor. Many a fun time had with her around. I hope to see her again! #jennieisawesome


Annette here had one heck of a journey on the way to retreat, but she made it! I had a great time with her as always and we just picked up where we had left off texting.

Many other friends I caught up with and I made some new ones. Unfortunately I was terrible at taking photos so you really don’t have many to look at. I did meet a fellow blog reader/writer! Hello there CaiteyRosey!! She was a doll and I loved her espinner!

I won some awesome yarn and got some awesome things in my goodie bag, but those don’t mean as much to me as the memories I made with friends. (I will blog about the “things” as I use them up.)

I can’t wait for ZK2015! #friendsforever

Until next time…

Iowa Sheep and Wool 2014

Up until this weekend I had never been to a fiber festival. Never. Nebraska doesn’t really have one, and the nearest is Iowa Sheep and Wool just outside of Des Moines, IA. I finally was able to make it this year and it was a blast. I piled in a minivan with a couple other knitting pals and we set off at a crazy early hour to get there when it opened at 8am. I loved seeing all the vendors, sheep, and goats. It was a blast. My fave part was the sheepdog herding. Amazing talented animals sheepdogs are. And ridiculously cute.

It was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to go again next year.

Until next time…