Sampling and Swatching

I came home from Whidbey last week with some fabulous alpaca fiber, which was just begging to be washed up and taken for a test spin-

Luna (White) and Emma (Chestnut)

So I spent a little time getting a feel for it. I hadn’t spun straight alpaca for quite a while, and it’s got a very different feel from wool.

My first attempt was not bad, but too thick. I was spinning on Sigrid, my slanty scandinavian wheel, and her doubledrive configuration didn’t permit me to get enough twist into the singles to make a lighter weight yarn.

My second try was on Moto, my e-spinner at about 640 rpm. Closer this time, but once it was plied up I still wasn’t happy with the twist. Needed more in both the singles and the ply to give the yarn more body.

So I cranked Moto up to about 750 rpm for another go- and this time I think I’ve hit the mark.

It’s knitting up nicely on size 2s at a gauge of 6.5 stitches/inch. So that’s cool.

Also took some time on the 4th to play around outside with lots of soap and water and wool make some sheets of felt.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about what all I could turn these felt sheets into. Pillows, bags, toys, etc-

Yesterday I was thinking about different ways that I could turn a flat sheet into a hat. Here is my first effort-

First I cut the sheet into a spiral- then I laced it back up, baseball style, easing it into a round shape. Here is the view from the top-

Then I re-felted it to size it down a little bit. I kind of thought that the re-felting might tighten up the yarn I laced it with, but that didn’t work like I expected, so I might have to reinforce the joins a bit. But it was a fairly successful experiment. Not sure I’ll do more hats this way (might be easier to wet felt them into that shape directly) but it was useful getting some practice working with felt as a material. Hope to do more of this throughout the summer!


    • denisemor

      Thanks Michelle- I think it has potential, but this prototype is probably a little too thick, and maybe felted a bit too hard.


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