Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fiber Fun

I have to admit, preparing the alpaca's fiber like I do is not my favorite part of this whole process.

I love my alpacas. I love the time I spend outside with them. I love thinking about and planning breedings. I love having cria born and everything about living with alpacas.

Shearing isn't my favorite day of the year, but having that fiber is. The next step of preparing the fiber - skirting and flicking also isn't my favorite. But I love spinning it into yarn.

Spinning their fiber is increadible. Knitting with yarn I made from fiber off of our own alpacas in beyond anything I can describe.

I've been told that I must be a very patient person in order to do the fiber prep like I do. Well, it's not that I'm patient. I'm not. In fact it's the opposite, I can't wait for the fiber to go and come back from the mill, when I want to spin yarn, I want to spin it now.

So, I do this fiber prep.

I go in our basement and weight out fiber from which ever alpaca I choose. I tumble it in our fiber tumbler (an old dryer without heat).

Then I bring it upstairs in a bag. Here is a bag of fiber off of our girl, Twilight:

While it looks black, it is acutally a dark silver grey. While mostly black, there are glimmers of white giving it a grey look.

Here are some bundles of her fiber:

I take those bundles and flick them:

I end up with a cloud:

From the cloud, I can spin it into yarn. But usually it takes me most of a day's fiber time to flick it. Spinning will be the next days project.


WonderWhyGal said...

Flicking the fiber does take longer but totally worth it for grays. You get the true beauty of the animal on the pasture that way and not a blended color that is different.

I have done that with a couple of my indefinites. The fawn and brown create the most beautiful yarn...but it definitely takes time.

Looking forward to seeing the yarn.

oak haven alpacas said...

I agree, when you do it yourself you can control the color better. I like it for grays and for the fading fawns. I fear the mill would just mix the fading fawn and make it fawn (which is pretty but not as fun to me).

Ideally I would send the solid colors - our plain fawns, browns and white off to the mill. The fun blankets - grays and fading fawns - those I would still do at home.


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