Saturday, May 26, 2007

Handspun and Handfed.

First, proof that I have actually been using the wheel...

The first two seemed to take forever, and have big mushy spots, little bitty spots, and are about as even and straight as a drunkard's walk home, but they will knit well enough, I guess...

The color on my camera makes this look intensely day-glo, but it is a red, lipstick red, not burn your eyes out red. This took a bit to work with my wheel to get it to spin. I am still in the learning stage, you have to use the brake and the tensioner to make things work. I found this out when I tried to mangle the crap out of spin alpaca, and found that I was tearing it, not spinning it. WAAAAAAAAAAAY too much tension, so I will have to go back and try it again, now that I know what the tension and the brake are supposed to do.

The last two were... different. I know what I am supposed to be doing now, mostly, but this had lots of little noils, second cuttings, something that wasn't supposed to be there. I had a lovely long fiber that would just be ready to go through and be spun, and "snap" a little tiny coil of fiber just shy of a pencil eraser would show up and cause it to break. Since I am now getting comfortable enough with this process to have something of a rhythm, this really annoyed me, and led to some less than ladylike words to the person or persons that put that particular bit of wool together. I did get through it, then tried plying.

This was also not really a big happy. I found that where I had the breaks, it was weak, so I would be plying along, and realize one of the plys suddenly was not there. Plus a bit of it tangled on the bobbin, so all in all, I am glad I am not doing this for any but the process of learning right now, since it would be a sad, sad thing to do to give to someone else! I still am going to make something of it, probably market bags. Should be OK, because the pattern calls for the yarn to be doubled, so I shouldn't have to much problems, even if there is weak spots in the yarn. I hope. News as events warrant.

In other things, I have now been able to hand feed all the llamas. Lorenzo, the low llama on the totem pole, is still incredibly shy around me, and will bolt if food isn't involved, but he is getting a bit better. Ding Dong is still not having much to do with me touching her face, so that &*(@# halter is still on. Lama is getting downright friendly with me, food or no food, once she found out that I will scratch her itchy spots. Rama, my little diva, will choose when she feels like having me touch or not, and is a bit sensitive on her face, too. But so far NONE will let me touch the feet. But I was up at the gate, watching them, and I got an all over sniff from both Ding Dong and Lama, which I gather is llama for "Hi, nice to meet you, I am not scared of you particularly..." Which for me, is GREAT! Poor Lorenzo, though, he was doing pretty well, and then I tried giving them all carrots. I don't know what happened, but he was terrified of the carrot, and hasn't let me near him with anything but his feed cup. So. Step forward, step back. Step forward, step back. I have time.

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