I have found the limit to my fiber obsession.
Cleaning and carding is much further than I ever want to go again. Once upon a time, I brought home part of a fleece from New Zealand. It was beautiful. And I couldn't wait to start transforming it into magical yarn.
Now at the time, I had never spun before so I don't have the faintest idea what I thought I was doing. I started cleaning and carding and I wanted to shoot myself in the eye. It wasn't the smell, it wasn't gross, there was a lot about it that I actually enjoyed. However, I scalded myself horribly, felted several sections of the fleece and carding is so slow and boring that I decided then and there that it was something I would probably never do again.
Never say Never right? Besides the burning of myself and the felting (I know I would get better with practice) I didn't mind the cleaning process. Carding I will never want to do again. I can tell you that. But why would I clean the fleece only to be unable/unwilling to take the intermediate step that would allow me to get back to the fun spinning part. Someday I might work that out. I don't think a big, bulky and expensive drum carder is the answer, I don't plan on processing that many fleeces.
Anyway this brings me to the point of my story. Remember last time I told you about the new drop spindle I purchased and used as a supported spindle? It came with some sample fiber. Being (what I thought) was awesome, Melody also threw in some alpaca. I couldn't spin it to save my life.
**NOTE: I don't think this reflects poorly on Melody. She was great and I wasn't purchasing this fiber, it was just something she threw in. I remain satisfied with my purchase**
I have fine, stick straight brown hair and it looked like I had been to the hairdresser and the locks on the floor were bagged up. The fiber was stick straight with absolutely no crimp in it. When I tried to spin it up it was dense, slippery and lots of sharp ends were poking out.
After posting on Ravelry forums about fiber preparation, I learned that it was likely Suri fleece from the leg area. I could probably have blended it with something else by carding it together with wool, and I tried carding a little bit of the alpaca to see what would result but it did nothing to help the fiber. It had a hard time sticking to the card at all. That combined with my hatred for the last time I carded prompted me to toss it in the garbage. It was a hassle I didn't want to deal with.