a bit of time a lot of time yesterday spinning the reddish-brown alpaca fluff. I’ve not gotten a proper comb yet, but been using this plastic pocket comb to flick the tips of the fleece that are stuck together. It seems to be working out, but I’d love to properly comb this stuff out. Oh, and why are only the tips stuck together? If anyone knows, I’d really appreciate a comment to let me know. Since I spun a lot of it, I’m going to keep going like this so that it’s all done the same way. Not sure how much I’ll get, but I don’t really want to devote a lot of fleece to it, and I was thinking about doing a Navajo 3-ply. This means I need to really stuff a lot of singles onto the one bobbin. The texture is coarse and I’m thinking it could be because I didn’t comb it properly and that the fibers could have been lined up a lot better than I’ve been getting them.
I wasn’t going to say, but if you haven’t got a clue, I’m not a pro at this. Big disclosure, right? But you know, when I decided to do this, I decided to go on a journey, and part of that is committing to exploration. I’ve never spun up alpaca and thought that I’d really love to try it. In it’s natural state, the fiber is undyed, and not very bright or colorful. I find that I do like the natural coloring and with working with this natural fiber, I find that I’m not distracted by ooogling and ahing at beautiful colors flying through my fingers. I can concentrate more on the fiber itself and how it’s interacting with itself, my fingers, and the spinning wheel.
The most amazing thing is watching the loose, fluffy fibers attracting to each other to form an effortless twist and single strand of yarn. They seem to almost magnetically seek each other out and twist into each other to form the single. When I let it get pulled through my fingers, the strand is made smooth. When I let the twist travel into the draft zone, the natural twist forms a bit of a fuzzy halo around the strand. Interesting. The staple is not as long as other fibers I’ve worked with, so the twist seems tighter, or maybe that is how I’m working. I’ve tried to slow down the wheel, but I don’t believe I’m getting a more relaxed strand. Honestly, I can’t wait to “whack” this stuff. I’ve never really done that before, but this time, I’m going to wash the finished hank and I’ve heard of people whacking a wet hank on the floor or somewhere and it’s supposed to “set the twist?” Whatever. I’ll ask someone. The one thing that I’ve learned with spinning is to just relax and see what comes from your actions. One time I made yarn that was way under twisted after plying. It was so relaxed that it got me nervous. The easy fix to that was to simply put it back onto the wheel and go another round of plying, but I did not unply it first. All I did was run it through again, and it just twisted it a little bit more and that made a world of difference.
Okay, so the title of this post will also be what I am calling this Spinning Journey of mine. “The Alpaca Project”