Tag Archives: alpaca

Tom Foolery At The Office

Today I did something I thought I’d never do: I spun in public. That’s right, I SIPped.  Now, I don’t mind knitting in public.  I’ve been doing it for years, especially on my lunch breaks.  I used to half-expect a barrage of “hey, my granny knits” comments whenever I pulled out a project in the cafeteria and seven years on, none have come.  No one pays attention or even cares, except for the college boy who once asked me what I was making.

“A sock,” I replied.

“Are you going to make another one after that?” He asked. He seemed genuinely interested.

To which I replied, “I sure am!”

I don’t mind if someone is amused by my knitting in public but with spinning I’ve been more hesitant because, to the uninitiated, it looks weird and no one knows what it is.  I don’t want to have to explain it unless someone really wants to know or try it.  Also I need a lot of elbow room when I spin on a spindle.

Today I had a change of heart because I am deeply in love with this black Romney and alpaca blend I bought from The Woolen Rabbit last Saturday. Can I tell you that this stuff has changed my life? I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night to spin it.  I’ve been getting up an hour early in the morning to spin it. It’s bliiiiisssssss!!! I didn’t want to put my spindle and wool down this morning but I had to go to work.  I suppose I could have called out sick 😉 but I didn’t, so I did the next best thing. I packed up my Greensleeves Tom Foolery and some roving and took it to work with me.  The main cafeteria was out as far as a spinning location goes–I needed someplace with carpeting.  There’s a small lounge that’s carpeted and today it was  completely empty! I expected to use one of the swivel armchair, but when I got there I found they had installed tall bistro-style table with tall chairs! It couldn’t have been more perfect. I was able to spin almost down to the ground from my high perch and except for a couple of passing people I didn’t meet a soul. Of course I did drop my spindle on the carpet a few times but it’s my own fault; I like to see how fine a yarn I can spin, so sometimes I push the envelope and it backfires on me. An on-the-spot inspection each time showed no dents, nicks or things of that nature. It was a perfect break in what turned out to be a pretty sucky day and all I’ll say about it is spinning definitely saved some lives today… :0

So there’s a nice close up of my new Greensleeves spindle.  I like it a lot. It doesn’t spin quite as long as my Goldings but I am very impressed with it.  It does have a nice spin on it and the woods and the craftsmanship are just beautiful.  The whorl is is made out of pink ivory and pommel bubinga and the shaft is bubinga too. I love saying bubinga! Typing it, though, not so much.  Pink ivory is one of the woods I’ve been coveting in a spindle.  I would still like to get one on which it’s the primary or only color.  Other woods I want are purpleheart, ebony, and bois de rose. So many colors! I’m happy with the weight of the yarn I’m spinning on it so I think the combination of spindle weight, fiber and spinning ability are all coming together nicely here.

So this is my achievement after two days of spinning this fiber.  What a cute, fuzzy little ball of yarn, no? I’m so in love with this.  I should have stuck a dime in the middle of it for scale but I’ll do that another time.  I’m spinning it extremely fine, but all of my spinning so far tends to be thicker when plied than I expect it to be so my goal here is to spin as fine as possible an ply it two or three times.  If I play my cards right it will be fingering weight, and hopefully no thicker than worsted.  Then all I have to do is decide what to knit with it.  Does alpaca make yarn too slippery for socks? What are you all knitting with alpaca/blended yarn? Suggestions please!