Monday, August 24, 2009

A fun day with alpaca "fur"

Well, alpacas really have fiber or fleece, but my non-knitting friend likes to call it fur.My spinning group had a get-together out on a farm where it felt like you were out in the m
iddle of nowhere. Gorgeous day, wonderful people and lots of fun things to learn; perfect day! Alpacas can be sheared more than once a year and their fiber spins up into a wonderfully soft yarn that
is perfect for scarves, gloves, blankets, etc. Alpaca fiber can come in a range of colors such as brown, grays, and off-white.

Half the day I spent learning how to dye the fiber using store bought dyes (you can also use kool aid or food coloring). color wheel. Dyeing the fiber also was an experimen
t in how colors combine. Using the same few colors provided, people still got a range of results depending on how they applied the dye and what colors they put next to each other. The pictures below show a couple of examples of the fiber colors

The other part of the day I learned to use a drum carder to combine 4 p
ieces of different colored (or in the case of white, absence of color) fiber to create some beautiful colors in the purple/maroon family. The picture on the left shows the beginning bag of fiber and the picture in the middle is the result.

The pictures below shows a drum carder pulling the fiber thru and "combing" it together.