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Anyone recognize this fiber?



This is brown and black poodle hair, left over from Rocky and Sunny's last
grooming appointment. I had Marcia, our groomer, collect it and give it
to me. It's only a month's worth of growth, though, so I'm going to mix
it with another fiber or fibers to make a ski hat for their 'Daddy." I
had lots of white merino roving and some alpaca, but I wanted to save
the alpaca I have for another blending project. DH wanted to pick up
some alpaca "beans" at Linda and Mike's, so it provided an opportunity
to see what they had in fiber I could mix with the poodle hair. (Alpaca
beans = really good manure)



Gabriella, one of their alpaca crias (Cria = alpaca baby), lost her mother when
she was a month old. Linda has been feeding her with a bottle. When we
went out to see the animals, Gabriella nuzzled Linda, indicating she
wanted to nurse, even though she had just had a bottle. Her hair is
gorgeous and soft, so Linda and Mike plan to enter her first "blanket"
(Blanket = alpaca fleece) in competition. They have five crias, and in
spite of many setbacks, the herd is growing. (BTW, alpacas hummmmmm, and
they don't spit unless they're really p___d! Like at shearing time, or
if a boy wants to mate and they don't. During shearing, the alpacas
often wear a sock on their noses in case of spitting. They are very
friendly, though, and don't spit otherwise.)


We went to the barn, where I picked out this roving from Kimberly. It's
really bay black--a very deep black--but I had to lighten up the photo
so you could see the texture. It's very soft!



Linda and Mike have lots of roving and yarn available at their Etsy store, Free Spirit Fiber Arts.


In my stash at home, I have lots of white merino I bought from my spinning
teacher. I decided to use it, but I didn't want to mix stark white with
the "pacapoo" fiber, so I dyed it with Koolaid and black food coloring.
I was aiming for a brownish color, but the black broke into it's component colors, so this is how it came out:



I don't know if it was the dyeing method or the fiber type that caused
the black to break, but I think it will work out fine. (I will blend a
sample first.) I dyed it in my sun tea jar. Here's how it looked when I
first put the dye and roving out in the sun:



...and here's what it looked like after all the dye was exhausted:



I plan on using the drum carder to blend the fibers. After I do a sample
to see how it looks together, I will weigh the poodle hair and combine
it with about four ounces of alpaca and four ounces of the dyed merino.


Remember the Koolaid-dyed SW merino and nylon for a bigger BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) for Daphne? Here is is, lounging in front of the
fire, almost dry. I will do another WPI to see what the weight of the
finished yarn is, and if I get the right weight, I will be doing my
swatch for the BSJ. Then time to CO!



Speaking of casting on, I cast on the Penny/Willow alpaca yarn for the Irish Hiking Hat for DBIL.



Penny was the mother alpaca who died recently leaving Gabriella an orphan,
and the yarn (spun by me) was in DSIL's stash, which DBIL brought to me
after she passed away. Her UFO, an Aran cardi for him, which I promised
to finish, isn't going to be done in time for Christmas because there
isn't enough yarn, so this will make a nice gift in the meantime and
will keep his head warm on the ski slopes and while using the snow
blower on his driveway. The pattern for the hat is available for free here.


In quilting news, the two quilt tops I have been working on are finished.
This one is "Promise of Spring." These fabrics came from my stash and
are mostly '30s reproduction fabrics in blues, yellows and reds.



...and this is "Churro Blanket on a Wall." (The fabrics are mostly batiks, and all from Connecting Threads.)



My friend Julie quilts professionally, so I will give them to her at Vintage Stitchers this week.


Saturday, Joanie, Linda and I went to the Acorn Antique Show in Ogden, UT. We
stopped at the Union Grill for lunch after leaving the show.



No trip to Ogden would be complete without stopping at The Needlepoint Joint, a great store that sells knitting and other fiber-fun supplies. I
showed the nice ladies who work there DH's sleeveless Fair Isle Cardi,
all finished, and returned five hanks of yarn for a credit. I asked them
about DSIL's UFO, and they determined that there wasn't enough yarn to
finish it. The closest thing they could offer to do the sleeves was
three balls of Jamieson & Smith's jumper-weight wool held together,
which would have cost $120 just for the sleeves. Yikes! I decided to
check some places in Salt Lake City to see if they have some Aran weight
yarn that will coordinate, maybe black. I didn't get to spend my
credit, because Linda had to get back to feed Gabriella and do chores,
but we will be back in February for the next antique show. They have
spindles and spinning fiber, as well as a great selection of sock yarns,
so it will be nice to look forward to spending the credit when we go
back!


No blog of mine is really complete without a gratuitous baby photo, so here is Daphne in her Halloween costume:



And finally, since we have been talking about alpacas today and not so much about sheep, check this out.


Happy knitting, spinning, dyeing and quilting!



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Comment by Peggy Stuart on November 8, 2010 at 6:55pm
Linda: It's a quick knit! We got a lot of snow today, so I couldn't go out this afternoon. Daphne is pretty cute, but I'm the grandma, so maybe not the best judge!
Janice: Is your fiber roving or batts for spinning or just a bag of loose stuff? You can have it processed or process it yourself in a way that separates the coarse fibers from the soft stuff. Even mixed like that, it can be good for rugs and projects you don't wear next to the skin.
Comment by Linda Hughes on November 8, 2010 at 6:40pm
Boy that didn't take long to make the hat. Ha, I guess that is a good use for a spaghetti squash. By the way, I loved all your photos (especially of Daphne) and your link too.
Comment by Janice Carabine on November 8, 2010 at 6:38pm
my llaa fibre was mixed in with the soft alpaca and it still it scratchy :( good for fibre arts.
Comment by Peggy Stuart on November 8, 2010 at 6:14pm
I have forgotten how many colors they come in, but it's a lot!
Just finished the hat. Here it is displayed on a spaghetti squash. The stem of the squash is what makes it stick up at the top. (Some people think this is the only good use for a spaghetti squash! )

Comment by Linda Hughes on November 8, 2010 at 6:07pm
Alpaca farms are becoming big in Western NY. We have two farms in our tiny little hamlet and we pass one every day when we drive our dog to the park. I just love all the interesting colors the alpacas come in.
Comment by Peggy Stuart on November 8, 2010 at 7:07am
Llama fiber is almost as nice as alpaca, if it's prepared properly. If you can't do it yourself, you can get it prepared for you by a company that does that. My friend Linda is also a quilter, and she is working on making quilt batting out of the leftovers that don't spin as well.
Comment by Peggy Stuart on November 8, 2010 at 7:03am
Vicky: I don't machine quilt, so I admire anyone who can, and going into business is gutsy! Good luck!
Pam: Thanks! I retired in 1993 when we moved to Indonesia and I wasn't allowed to work there. I've had plenty of time to knit and quilt. The spinning is relatively new, though!
Comment by Janice Carabine on November 8, 2010 at 7:03am
I have donkeys and one year an artist from back east had me send a hug box of it.. he did sculpture...I put it in a victoria secrets box and added a note from the girls ;) he loved it. I also have a huge bag of alpaca and llama fibre.. and have two llamas presently.. hmm you got me thinking ;).
Comment by Pam/NY on November 8, 2010 at 6:56am
I guessed the poodle hair...the video was a riot, love the triple sheep costume! You are so talented in all the different arts. Love the quilts, especially the one done from CT fabric.
Comment by Vicky Girten/MO on November 8, 2010 at 6:39am
What a wonderful thing to be able to do. I don't knit, but crochet. Also have my own business. Check it out at www.designsbygeegee.com

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