1.08.2010

Fiber Limit

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.

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