Thursday, May 30, 2019

Blending Alpaca and Cotswold Wool

Heading into my little studio early this morning.
...One of my partner, John Ackerson's abstract paintings, done years ago, hanging on the door ~ Always loved that piece ~

Mixing teased proportions of 4 to 1, pale yellow Cotswold wool with brown Alpaca... 1st blended batt on right... will prob. give the batt, one more run thru the drum carder.
...everything's an experiment

several blended rolags

Spinning away on the Cotswold wool and the brown Alpaca on the Ashford Traditional wheel... quite a bit of grease remaining in the wool so it doesn't slide as easy as it would have if it had been scoured more... But with more lanolin left in the yarn it will be more water repellent for outerwear... spinning it a little thicker than I usually do so I have a variety of yarn weights on hand... it is tricky to get used to spinning thicker after you have spun fine for a while, but it's always good to give yourself a challenge.

 I have 6 bobbins filled with the 1 ply Alpaca and Cotswold... lots more to spin but I ran out of bobbins, so will have to 2 ply these first to empty the bobbins... so far I like it.

Beginning the plying of the alpaca and cotswold ... excited to see how it turns out. ...the little piece of art on the right is a print of a painting my partner did of me playing the piano

Plied the first 6 bobbins of alpaca/wool into 2 ply (upper right of the pic) and have spun up the remaining batts... The plied yarn mellows the colour nicely... I'm liking the blend so far.

 Finished with 18 skeins each over 2.4 oz. each. 

...... I used the washing machine to soak (no agitation) in hot water, Dawn and Ivory Snow for 30 min , spun out then repeated. Then another soak in hot water to rinse out the soap.

... As we finally received a warm day, I hung them out on the clothesline in the breeze to dry. It always surprises me how quickly wool dries! 

The grass has finally turned green and growing and the leaves are starting to leaf out on the trees

Finished drying in the kitchen spread out on a broom handle. The plied yarn mellows the colour nicely...

I'm liking the blend. ...Fun... and I miss working on the project.
** Spun on an Ashford Traditional on the middle ratio.
... the process took from May 7 till May 25.. while waiting for the weather to warm up 

Cheers All from Desideratum Art and Jewelry, Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada


Guillaume said...

I didn't know there was such thing as alpaca wool. I really feel stupid and uneducated. It might sound silly, but really love the look of that wool. I find it soothing. You make me long for autumn.

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh yes Guillaume, Alpaca is very fine and soft... when spun by itself it has a lot of drape. I chose to blend them together in this yarn so the qualities of each are distributed thru the yarn. the springiness of the wool and the soft drape of the alpaca. Now to decide on the pattern of the sweater it will be made into

laura said...

Wow, as a knitter I of course find this fascinating! What a tremendous amount of labor goes into the production of a skein of yarn!
One of the things I enjoyed about knitting--in addition to all the beautiful colors of the yarns (I love the neutrals!)--was that I was buying yarn from all over the world!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Laura, I am just a basic almost beginner knitter and have much to learn in that department... I got into it as I had to start using up the yarn I spun.. I love how one creative vice(ha) leads to another...

WILDSIDE said...

So beautiful, yet again. I think an Ashford is what I used to use...
Thank you, Gwen.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Wildside,Thank you, I'm trying to figure out a gauge for a sweater pattern as I write this.. I'm in novice territory

WILDSIDE said...

Gwen, not sure if you're still checking back in here tho' I've been dropping by to see you all this time between posts! Must say, at this stage of life, must certainly consider that being in novice territory is a good place to be. Unfortunately/fortunately that is always where I'm seeming to find myself at (LOL!)... How did it (the sweater) go for you?