Saturday, April 26, 2008

Even though I haven't been blogging lately I have been knitting. Cobblestone was finished a while back and has been worn several times. It's an incredibly comfortable sweater. But, being alpaca it does pill and shed. No biggie, I can live with that. It's nothing a good shave won't take care of. I love the fit of this sweater. I'm seriously considering changing the neckline though. I don't find the current neck to be very flattering. The pattern for this was so well written that I didn't really have any issues while working on it. I would like to knit another one in a very pretty color. Something bright and cheerful. After shearing this year I got a very nice white blanket off of Princess. I'm thinking of carding and dying it and spinning it up for another Cobblestone. She had nearly 5 pounds of blanket fiber so I should be able to get a Cobblestone and have loads left over.

I dyed two skiens of Sabrena's light fawn yarn and knit up a cozy scarf. I tried numerous patterns before settling on Stefanie's One Row. This is the second time this pattern has come to the rescue. It's an easy knit-while-watching tv pattern. I learned a valuable lesson dying this. This was dyed with Gaywool dyes using the cold method and letting the yarn sit in the dye bath for 24 hours. The colors didn't come out as vibrant as they do when using the stove top or crock pot. So from now on I know if I want intense color to use heat, for soft color use no heat. Everything I have dyed since has been on the stove top or crock pot. There are three skiens drying now that I dyed today. Two plum that will become a scarf and one dark blue-green that will be a hat. The green started out as a herd blend of dark rose grey, silver grey, dark fawn, and light fawn. I love dying this yarn because it produces a nice heathered yarn and the outcome is always a surprise. It's really hard to predict how a particular color will be taken up by the yarn. I used indigo on one skien and got a nice charcoal color with hints of blue. On the next skiens I used watercrest (a medium intensity rose) and got what I call Rosewood. It reminds me of a weathered mahogany. I have enough of this color for a scarf and am still experimenting with patterns.

Before I leave you tonight I'd like to share a picture of little Coco taken before shearing. Isn't he a little doll??? We showed him at the end of February (which is about when this picture was taken) and he placed 5th. He may have placed a little better if he hadn't been so jumpy with the judge. Can't say that I blame him though. It has to be pretty stressful the first time these little guys go in the show ring and some stranger starts handling the jewels. Don't you just want to reach out and smoosh his cute little face.


At Sun Apr 27, 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Your blog caught my eye. I saw your comment about the sheding and pilling of garment made of alpaca. That should not happen to alpaca if the fleece was properly graded and sorted before it was sent to the mill or hand-spun. Fiber needs to be within 3 microns when sorted to be made into yarn, and the fibers should be of similar lengths. Another issue that could be causing the pilling and shedding would be a tender fleece.
I hope this might help your future projects.
Alpaca Lady


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