Friday, March 28, 2014

The big alpaca adventure

In other words from fiber to knitted item...
Once upon a time, there arrived a box, full of alpaca fiber, in the state as it was cut from the animal.
It was soft for sure and it was white...well kind of. It was full of all kinds of things.Hay, and stray, and wood and seeds, even a bit of alpaca poop.
We went through it bits like bits, picking and picking out all that vegetable matter, and picked out more, and some more.
No, not this much, a lot more. 
Then it went to have a bath in the bathtub. Then an other and an other, and I think I lost counting somewhere between the ninth and the twelfth change of the water. After the first few round here was a few cm thick mud at the bottom of the bathtub.
Then it dried in the middle of my living room. Thakfully I have a child, who is well trained since his birth, doesn't even bats an eye when a blanket of wet alpaca appears in the middle of the living room, just casually steps over it. While drying I was pulling the fiber apart, and picking out even more VM.
Then I carded it.
Then I spun it...and I've started knitting it.
And knitted, and knitted. Then blocked.
Then made some pictures.
And close ups...
And more pictures. Then I packed it and sent it away, back to where it originally came from.
The alpaca fiber came as a SAPGAP deal From Sandy Kunath.Sandy, thank you for letting me do this.After all that washing and picking and carding, it turned out the softest and whitest alpaca I ever dealt with. Half of it was dyed and spun DK weight with beads, a topic for an upcoming post. This neckwarmer was made out of the part we put away as the dirtiest, and roughes part.
I have to thank Krisztina for all her help, keeping me company, breaking her back  picking the fiber with me, and help out with the carding.
And Zsóka for letting me use (even lending it over Xmas time) her carder.
The neck warmer is based on the Drops pattern 155-29 (knitted it in the round, used only the last two pattern diagrams, and cannot remember the number of stitches).
Photos: Christopher Laurent Deli

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