Some of you have heard the story of how I came to have 10 oz (approx 300g) of Alpaca fibre in my stash. For the rest of you, this is what happened.
Several years ago, I took a half day spinning class at a local shop. At that time, I bought a new-to-me wheel and seriously thought I was the king of the hill. Look at me everyone - I can spin. I actually kept what I spun that day that I was so proud of.
It's a good reminder, both in humility but also to see just how far I've come.
I went to work the following Monday and told my then-boss about what I had done, and how pleased I was with what I had learned. She was thoughtful for a moment then said, "There is an Alpaca farm near my timeshare in Vermont. If I bought fibre, would you spin it for me?" Being so pleased with myself (and not having a clue what I was committing myself to), I said "Sure!"
So, true to her word, the next time she went to Vermont, she picked up three large bags of alpaca fibre and gave it to me at work. Two bags were for her, one for me as a thank you for doing the spinning.
That is about when the enormity of what I had committed myself to really sank in. I was looking at (what appeared to be) pounds and pounds of alpaca fibre and I knew that I didn't really have the skill to spin it. Not properly.
Thus started the my spinning education. I have the good fortune of living very close to the Wool Grower's Co-op Warehouse in Eastern Canada and was able to pick up small bags of roving for very little money.
I spun, and spun and spun some more. I learned to ply - no small feat when you only have one bobbin!
I ordered fibre online and spun that. This is where I learned that you have to be really careful with dyed fibre. Some is great, some, well - not so much.
I bought a new spinning wheel and kept trying.
I kept spinning and every once in a while, I would take a small amount of the alpaca out of the bag and test spin it - just to see if I could. Most of these experiments were abject failures and just when I thought I was going to have to admit that I really couldn't do it, I did it. It wasn't great, but I did it. I bought a bag of Alpaca fibre, and spun that. And it was lovely - if you ignore the catastrophic error I made while doing it.
So a few weeks ago, I took one of those lovely bags of fibre out from the bottom of the bin and started spinning. And spun, and spun and spun some more. And then spent a day plying.
And this is the result.
That my friends, is 600 yards of 2-ply laceweight Alpaca. And it's divine. But mostly, I'm so happy to be able to make good on my promise.