Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Best-laid plans

Remember how I said I wasn't going to come home with a fleece?


Now, to be absolutely, 100% fair, it's not my fault.

Point in my defense the first: This is alpaca fiber, not wool, and I'm going to contend that perhaps I didn't therefore come home with a fleece by the strictest definition. This may seem spurious until I tell you what won me over: because of the lack of lanolin, there's a lot more leeway (the word "indefinitely" came up) in terms of getting alpaca clean before it rots than there is with wool.

Point in my defense the second: I was surrounded by enablers. I had Older Daughter telling me that it really wasn't that expensive, and that seriously, mom, you should buy it. (Come to find out later she adores this particular fiber and has designs upon all products resulting from its spinning and knitting.) And my mother kept saying things like, you know, you'd spend that much going out to dinner. Seriously, how could I not haul out my checkbook then and there? (Credit where credit is due: this fleece is from Valhalla Farms Alpacas.)

I came home with a few more things, many of which I am entirely responsible for, although a few others, not so much. On this list of "not my fault" is also the gorgeous 2.4 oz batt of angora/polworth from Bungalow Farm Angora in the most stunning clear spring greens that my mother bought for me (see? born enabler). That is destined to become matching tams for me and her. (We live 500 miles away from one another, so that's not as dorky as it sounds.) I just could not get the colors to photograph well, so I'll post pictures of the yarn once it's spun.

I got a couple of little bags of gorgeous suri alpaca top to spin from Sterling Alpacas; they were the folks who were nice enough to talk to me about how to store and wash alpaca fiber. This may make mitts for Rick.

I also got some fiber to spin into socks: Blue-Faced Leicester (superwash) from Sincere Sheep.
That, too, isn't photographing very well; it's more pale green than pale blue. I'm looking forward to spinning this without killing it the way I did the last sock yarn I tried to spin. (I am still mourning the Wensleydale.)

And then I got some luxury fibers (I realize that I forgot to take pictures of one of the gorgeous bits of cashmere/silk that I got - another time). Look at these:
That in front is bombyx silk, and in back a merino/bombyx/tussah blend, all dyed using natural dyes from Dreamy Goat Design Studio. They had the most absolutely stunning fibers there; I had a really hard time choosing, but I finally decided that these would be beautiful plied together and then knitted into something lacey, so that is what I am going to do.

The festival itself was really fun, with good food, and friendly people and alpacas, live music and entertainment, and (as you can see) a wonderful hall full of vendors. There was a sheep-to-shawl competition, with three teams competing; I'd never seen one before, so that was really fun, too - we kept checking in during the day. I think I have a few pictures of that on my phone that I'll post later. Along with one more confession of a fiber-sport nature (also not my fault). (I feel like John Belushi.)

In the meantime, I am knitting. I have begun Eve's Ribs, and I'll show some pictures of that next time. It's going to be a real squeaker in terms of yarn/fit; my LYS was one skein short of the yarn in the colorway I fell in love with to knit the medium size, which was probably a touch on the larger size for me, so I bought the yarn and am knitting the small, which may be a touch on the small size for me. This one may be a twice-knit sweater; only time will tell.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

OMIGOD - how can I get you to spin me something from that last pic???? Those two fibres are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!

(And I have to say, Alpaca is hard to resist in any form so I can't blame you for bring home three bags full!)

EGunn said...

That is beautiful fiber. It's perfectly clear why you decided not to resist. That bombyx silk looks incredible!

Nana Sadie said...

Ok. I'll give you that under those circumstances you simply can't be responsible ... enablers par excellence!
Besides, if it's fiber you'll spin up and use for so many other people, it's not from the "knitting" budget, it's from the "gifts" budget, right? And we know we always spend more on those we love...

(That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!)
You do, however, have to work on your rendition of "it's not my fault" - there's not enough "whine" in it!

twinsetellen said...


I was laughing at the very first sentence.

And by the 3rd or 4th paragraph I was thinking how much fun it would be to attend a fiber festival with you and be a mutual enabler. What great stuff you bought!

Willow said...

Yeah, alpaca fiber is remarkable stuff to spin. It would be hard for me to resist too. You could plead special immunity...

Jane said...

Nice to know you can blame someone else, lol. I love the colours of Leicester, that's going to be gorgeous when it's spun, as will everything else

scienceprincess said...

I have met several of the alpacas that live within 5 min of me. They let knitters and spinners come during shearing, and buy what they want right then . . .

May will be a dangerous month for me.

I understand.

take care.

Gwen said...

Oooh! Oooh! Ooooh!

(Mom and I, even living even more miles apart, still find ourselves wearing the same things when we're together.)

Unknown said...

kicking myself for not putting Lambtown on my schedule. At least there's always next year!

Rachel said...

Thank you for the morning laugh, your first sentence did it! :)

Oh and pray tell what is the proper word to your alpaca thingie (if it is not fleece I mean).

I love your sweater in progress, such a lovely pattern!

Carrie#K said...

It's not your fault. It was meant.

Nice haul!

AlisonH said...

What they said! Have fun!

Rachael said...

Oh you did well, good for you! Predictably, I like the bfl the best, maybe I like bfl so much because it's shiny. Have you noticed that about it - in yarn or not quite yarn form it is a bit shiny. I do like shiny things. ;-)

What are you going to spin first???

Laurie said...

OMG...she bought the fleece. LOL!!! And many other lovely things, too, I see. :-)

Alwen said...

Alpaca is my downfall. I keep buying alpaca yarn, because it's so soft, but I have yet to knit with it!

Bea said...

I don't blame you at all for your purchases. They are gorgeous. Who could resist?