Last weekend I REEEEEALY fell down the rabbit hole, and bought an alpaca. His name is Harley, and he's a magnificent specimen.
Why'd I buy an alpaca, you ask? Well, I'll get five pounds of beautiful alpaca fibre off him every year, he's an intact male just coming into breeding age so I can make some money with his stud services, and he's really cheap to keep. His board is $45.00 a month, and that covers food, shots, worming, and feet care. And if those reasons weren't enough, he's freakin adorable!
When I say I fell down the rabbit hole, I should really clarify...I was pushed...by my husband...He was almost more excited about the deal than I was. He wanted to buy two so we could start producing baby alpacas right away. Once I convinced him we should slow down a tad, he stepped back and let me pick my alpaca. There was no picking involved. I lost my heart (my head's been gone for years) as soon as I saw Harley. He was the first one I saw up close where I could touch and pet him. And when Carolyne, the ranch owner, said those magic words "he's for sale" I was gone, man, gone.
So, Sunday afternoons will be devoted to Harley visits. I can't wait to see him today. Tomorrow my knitting group is taking a road trip out to meet him too. That's gonna be so much fun ladies!
So, I've got to step up the learning curve on the spinning. I've been prepping my second bag of Shetland roving. Lord, there's a lot of veg matter in this stuff. Veg matter is straw, sticks, dirt, and we-don't-want-to-know-what-else in the fibre that you want to remove or it'll make the yarn really scratchy. Yesterday afternoon was spent pulling straw out of this roving. Today, I'll actually get to draft and spin it up. I think I may have discovered a clue as to the drafting. I'm pretty sure I was over-pre-drafting before. Now I'm not pre-drafting as much so I have some room to draft as I spin.
I want to hurry up and finish the Shetland roving so I can start spinning the blue and green roving I bought a few weeks ago. And I'll be receiving Harley's first shearing soon. I'm told though, by my fibre Goddess friends, that I'll have to really get the hang of spinning wool before I try spinning alpaca fibre. Alpaca lacks the barbs that wool fibres have, so it has a slippery factor that makes spinning a whole new experience. This lack of barbs, as well as the lack of lanolin, makes alpaca fibre non-allergenic. That's really good news for my friend Anne, who will no doubt be one of my early victims...I mean recipients of something made from Harley's fleece.
I've also been working on sewing up the Kilcar sweater. I have the shoulder, side seams, and collar sewn up. I'm trying to have it done to wear to a baby shower tomorrow night. I should have final pictures ready in a day or two.
I'm also working on the Juliaca sweater. This baby llama wool (Mirasol Miski) is so dreamy and soft, I could knit with it all day long. It's knitting up fairly fast and easy, although I have miles and miles of 2x2 rib to do.
"Hurry up and finish" seems to be the story of my life lately, at least as far as knitting goes. I have soooo many projects waiting. Gorgeous projects that demand all my powers of control not to jump into right now. Can you say "startitis"??? sigh...