Alpaca, My New Obsession

My sister gave this gorgeous chair to me over the summer. I was so pleased to find that it it the perfect height for my spinning wheel. I usually drag a chair from the dining room table, which is higher and much harder, and then my discomfort limits my time at the wheel. But now! I can sit and spin for hours upon hours (as long as no one needs their diaper changed or food or a referee for the fighting, which is sometimes what my job description seems to be. But I digress…).

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So, what fiber did I pull out of the stash for this momentous spinning marathon? Alpaca. Black, gorgeous, fluffy alpaca. Which I don’t have a picture of, so you’ll just have to believe me that the locks were long, kinky, and luxurious. And the yarn practically spun itself.

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I thought at the beginning that I was spinning a lace weight single, but, as fiber often does, this stuff told me it wanted to be 2 ply lace.

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TWO PLY LACE! Swoon.

I was so hooked on this alpaca that I wanted more, more, MORE. The stash, however, was pretty light on alpaca, so I had to go shopping. And I struck gold!

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This scrumptious alpaca is from WoollyDelights on Etsy (there is more if you want some!). I bought 12 ounces and spent the next few weeks spinning up this glorious, 2 ply lace weight yarn.

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Now I have a sweater quantity of handspun, 2 ply, alpaca lace weight in black and natural that I get to knit up into … what? I don’t know, yet. As I spun, I dreamed of a round yoke, color work sweater, but now I am leaning toward a large lace shawl. I know inspiration will strike soon enough. For now, I just like to pet it and rub it on my face and gaze at it lovingly.

Alpaca is a great fiber for spinning. I will most certainly be stocking the stash with more.

The Falkland’s Will

I asked the wool what it wanted to be.
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It answered back, “Beautiful”

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I was happy to oblige.

So often I take a braid of fiber and I form it into what I want it to be. This time, I let it do what it wanted, taking me out of my comfort zone, yet soothing and easy at the same time. This braid of Falkland from Friends in Fiber spun up into such a gorgeous single that I knew it didn’t want to be plied. So I fulled it and snapped it and hung it to dry, then anxiously awaited the finished object. 

It did not disappoint. This lovely yarn is going to a dear friend and I cannot wait to see what she makes with it. Maybe it will tell her what it wants to be.

One Down, Eleven To Go

I just read an interesting study about New Year’s resolutions. In 2007, the study tracked 3000 people through one year to see how they fared in keeping their New Year’s promises. The end of the year showed dismal results. Only %12 percent of the original 3000 people had accomplished their goals. SO, how are you doing with yours?

As for me, I am going strong here at the beginning of the second month. And this is what that looks like –

My knitting/spinning goals were set out as follows –

1. knit something from my handspun – I am working on this one. I spun up a lovely merino/yak blend for the Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL and that is still in progress. It’s not my fault it isn’t finished. I blame Ysolda.

IMGP1759_mediumSpunky Eclectic Club Fiber August 2013, 8 oz of two ply sport weight. Ravelry page here.

I would post progress pictures, except that it is a mystery knit and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. If you want to see it so far, here is my project page.

2. Knit a christmas gift or christmas decoration – The Blessing’s Christmas Stocking is finished, blocked, and packed away for next Christmas. The feeling of accomplishment that fills my chest at having a Christmas item finished before February even began is enormous!

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This is a mish-mash of patterns, mostly Kristen’s Creative Christmas Stocking, and is knit in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes  avocado, lullaby, cranberry, and semolina.

3. Spin one braid (at least) I spun 12 oz of fiber in January. I showed you the merino/yak above, but there was also this gorgeous Mixed Color BFL progression.

IMGP1873_mediumSpunky Eclectic Colorway for a Cause “It’s a Beautiful World”, approx 450 yards of fingering weight singles.
Ravelry page here.

This is already on the needles and half knit. I got a head start on February’s handspun knit.

4. Keep my yarn/fiber purchases to the bare minimum (an unofficial stash down of sorts) Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do so well at this one. Thank goodness I wasn’t more specific!

This month I added to the stash 24 oz of fiber, and only spun 12. I gave/traded away 4 oz. This puts me at +8 oz.
As for yarn? I added 10 skeins and only knit 4 and scraps. But I gave/traded away 5 skeins. So +1 for yarn.

5. Keep my WIPs to a maximum of four. (In my original post I said a minimum of four, but ya’ll knew what I meant, right?) This I accomplished with great difficulty. And, right now I have five, but just since yesterday. The Mystery KAL kind of doesn’t count, because once this week’s clue is finished, I can’t work on it until the next clue comes out, which makes it kinda like a finished object each time I finish a clue. Besides, last night I didn’t want to knit my lace Hitofude Cardigan, and the rows on the Allegro are getting snore-inducingly long, and I finished my clue on the MKAL Shawl, and the other knit is taking too much brains, and I just really wanted an instant gratification type project. So I cast on a dress for The Blessing with this lovely stuff.

IMGP1845_mediumMosaic Moon Targhee DK in Burlap and Burlap Semi Solid

I am half done. I will be knitting longies to go with it, too. Awesomely cute!

One month down, eleven to go. And doing just fine. 

I love the challenge of resolutions and the feeling of accomplishment that sticking to them brings!

(I am doing really well with my healthy changes resolutions, too, but that is kind of boring, so I won’t detail it. Suffice it to say, the longer I go without sugar and coffee, the less I want it, and the more active I am, the better I feel. These are lifestyle changes, not just for this year, so I will just carry on and continue to reap the benefits thereof.)