After my brother introduced me to alpaca and alpaca fiber, I would say, "When I retire, I'll buy a spinning wheel and learn to spin alpaca." Well, inheriting the alpaca farm sort of forced me to retire (I was of the age, anyway, but loved my job . . . ). And I did buy a spinning wheel--almost a year ago! Although I had friends who said "start with wool--it's easier," I was determined to start with my own suri alpaca fiber. I mentioned this in an earlier post.My beginnings weren't pretty--in fact, I tended not to bring my wheel when my spinning/knitting/weaving friends got together weekly because I felt so pathetic. But I brought it enough and had friends enough who gave me advice and encouragement--I thank them! Fern showed me the magic triangle! Cathy D said, "Someday you will be able to spin, look around, and talk--all at the same time!" And she was right!!
I spun my first skein of white suri alpaca from roving that I had (I still have to work from the raw-carded-on-my-own-fleece). Then, because another friend Margo was teaching us some dying, I put the yarn into a vat of indigo dye--once, and then only half of it a second time.
Then I got out my knitting needles and ta-da! my own suri alpaca hand knit lace scarf! The fiber came from BMCA Jean Brooke--one of the earliest alpacas born on the farm and named for one of my Girl Scout leaders (BMCA Jean Brooke and BMCA Elinor deserve another entry some day!).
I've spun three skeins now--Jean's, Fiorano, and Leroy (see an earlier post). I'm finishing another skein of Leroy into which I'm introducing some greenish/gold dyed mohair (see my earlier post on Leroy). I'm hoping to knit a sweater for my granddaughter from the skeins of Leroy, since she "owns" him--with the best of intentions, it will be a Christmas gift this year! I should be spinning and knitting now!!