I'm so excited! Look what came in the mail today... a huge pile of rainbow fluff, more often referred to as a batt of alpaca. This is a photo of one of the batts.
You're never too old to learn...
I am a member of the North Country Spinners, a guild with members from Eastern PA, NJ and NY that meets monthly in Blairstown, NJ. This month, the program was "How to Photograph Your Work" with Daryl Lancaster (www.weaversew.com). If you ever have the opportunity, take a class with Daryl. She was wonderful, well prepared and knowledgeable and the advice she gave me is invaluable. I'm looking forward to an improvement in the photographs here as well as in my Etsy shop. I was so excited to give her suggestions a try that I dressed my 13 year old son up in black from head to toe and used him as a model. Although I could have had a more cooperative subject, here is one of my shawls displayed elegantly on his lithe 5'8" frame. I know that I need to improve on my background and my model could be wearing better fitting clothing but hey, its a start :)
Works in Progress...
The weekend was spent playing with my new (used) rigid heddle loom. I was totally absorbed in it and I finished my very first woven scarf. I should say, I finished the weaving portion. I still need to remove the header and finish off the ends. I used a naturally dyed millspun wool for the warp and handspun wool/mohair for the weft. I'm happy with the results although I do need to loosen up a bit next time. Pictures will be posted when it is all done.
I'm still knitting along on my Wensleydale shawl but I did start another new project yesterday. Our guild's paperbag project for the year was some California Red roving. Since we display our finished projects at our December meeting, I though it was time to get going on the knitting. Earlier in the year, I handpainted the roving and spun it into a 2 ply fingering weight yarn. Last night, I finally decided what to do with it. Originally I had planned to knit a lace scarf but I really wasn't thrilled with how the yarn felt after it was finished. It took dye beautifully with deep, rich colors and spinning it was OK (a little bumpy but not too bad). When the yarn was plied and washed, it had a rough feel to it that doesn't feel good next to the skin. That killed the scarf idea since I didn't want to wear it against my neck. I though about weaving with it but if I did a scarf I would have the same issue.
Because I handpainted the roving, the colors change constantly along each ply of the yarn creating a lovely effect of colors and I want to take advantage of that. I dove into my stash (larger than most yarn stores) and came up with a lightweight yarn, 20% alpaca, 80% wool in a sage green that is an exact match for one of the colors in the handspun. With the two yarns, I swatched a fairisle pattern and was please with the results. I began work on a fairisle tam that begins with a ribbing in the sage green so that it will be soft next to the skin. The patterning will be done in the handspun using the multicolored yarn to create the illusion of many yarn colors. Photos will follow as perhaps will a matching scarf or mittens, depending on my enthusiasm level.
Well, I'm off to begin the colorwork on the tam. That should keep me happy for the evening. I like it when my knitting makes me think and because I am not taking the time to chart out the tam in advance, it will definitely keep my mind occupied throughout the evening.
Happy Knitting, Bitsy