Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stress Reliever

This will be a three ply yarn when done that I've washed the wool, carded it, and am now spinning. Each single added to the ply makes the yarn more round. After this sometime I want to do a four ply. Four plys makes the cable in a sweater jump out at you. Why I haven't done three and four ply before is beyond me.

Boy, oh boy, have I needed a good stress reliever lately. To keep from going in sane. Hmmm... okay I'll admit it, I'm already there. Who else would think of an experiment with a stinky buck goat and women who wish to become pregnant? So let's just say that to keep from needing a padded cell or hours on the couch with a psychiatrist, I've resorted to spinning and now I've added knitting too in the evenings. Sometimes even late at night like last night in order to calm my nerves. 

Fall and spring can turn one into a basket case with so much to do and so little time and energy. I think I have my life under control and then the real world slips in with grand kids needing help and a good deal on a buck, and yaks needing doctoring which means we need to find a good deal on a used squeeze chute, and... and... all those things that just weren't in my planned schedule.
So I dug out my packet of luxury fibers I'd splurged on at the Fiber Fest in Estes Park last June and finished spinning them. Three of the six fibers I've never spun before such as Paco Vicuna, Cashmere, and Quiviut.

The Paco Vicuna was somewhat like spinning Alpaca and a bit like spinning baby camel. Not as easy as Alpaca but not quite as short a fiber as baby camel.

Quiviut, which is from a Musk Ox, at first had me wondering if stress relief was the correct word or not for what I was doing.
Awesomely airy but the fiber length was maybe an inch long if stretched tight. Quiviut  doesn't have any cling to itself and therefore you have to make your singles very thin and do a really short draw of the fiber with lots of twist. The gal I bought the luxury fiber packet from said it was a super good buy since the quiviut down had risen to $50.00 dollars an ounce for fiber to spin. Ouch!!

On the Internet I saw Quivet yarn hats selling for $125 to $175 dollars in a single color with a fairly plain pattern. Yarn sells for $90.00 dollars an ounce for finger weight. Needless to say I won't be buying this fiber again unless I happen upon a bargain basement sale, NOT LIKELY. That made the $37.00 dollars I paid for the little packets of six fibers seems pretty reasonable.

Quivet comes from the Artic Musk Ox. It was inside me new book, that is a must buy for any fiber lover, that I found out that Musk Ox stay warm to -100 F. or -73 C. If only this fiber wasn't so expensive I'd make sweaters, hats, socks, and gloves from it and bask in its softness and warmth for I do get mighty cold being cold blooded, literally. I'm serious, my temperature frequently falls to the low 95 F. and even dips to the 94's on occasion. You think they'd give me a medical discount for this fiber? LOL 

The Angora, from the Angora rabbit, is soft and tends to want to fly away a bit. You handle it also with a short draw, thin singles, and lots of twist. I've a pair of socks I blended wool and angora to use in the ankle part. Is it called a cuff?
The baby camel as always was a shear joy to spin and I liked the Cashmere too. Other than the camel, I haven't bought any of these fibers. 

Some of you clever souls may of noticed I didn't mention the bison down. Either I had some poor quality stuff or it is simply nasty and after working with it for a short while. I quit. After all, I was suppose to be basking in luxury, not a prickly lane of desperation.

There isn't much of one fiber and what I'll do with this little bit of this and a little bit of that I think will be to add a few similar sized skeins of colored finely spun Merino wool and make a head band. 

I spun and knitted one years ago from what at that time was unfamiliar to me luxury fibers which included baby camel, Alpaca and silk. I loved that head band but set it down at the hospital on a chair and moved away from it, when I turned around and came back, it was gone.  This one I'm not letting out of my sight.
My oldest daughter shares this love of fiber and has begun to spin on my old Ashford spinning wheel. Looks like we may have a grand daughter that will join us when she's of age.

She just had to stop on our walk last summer to pet the clump of fur (nobody home inside it) in the middle of the road before walking on. I see myself a great deal in this little one of ours and just hopes she skips the not so good traits of Grandma's.

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