Sunday, 9 August 2009

Fleece & Yarn

One of the highlights of our week away in Norfolk was a visit to Burnt Fen Alpacas.

The owners were very accomodating as we needed to arrange a visit by appointment. We spent a lovely couple of hours with the Alpacas, who although shy initially, were easily tempted by a bowl of carrots. The mini Hook and Scumblers enjoyed roaming around in the field with the herd as well as stroking their lovely soft fleece at every available opportunity.

We were also able to look at all the felt made from the fleece, including a gorgeous nuno silk felt shawl. I was able to learn the best techniques for preparing the fleece for spinning . I had heard that the fleece was more difficult to spin than a sheep's fleece as it was far softer, so I couldn't resist coming away with some of my own to try.

There's something very satisfying knowing exactly the providence of your yarn , and so I have 100g of Lizzie's fleece, soft, and a lovely dark brown and 100g of Canasta's fleece a white fleece, which would also be suitable for dyeing.

Of course, I couldn't resist trying to spin the fleece at the first avaialbe opportunity, and I am really enjoying using my new Ashford Turkish spindle, which also winds the yarn at the same time . I found spinning this fleece actually easier than a sheep's fleece, as I have seemed to been able to achieve a more uniform yarn...that is compared to my usual dk slubby spun yarn .I have already had a request for Alpaca fingerless gloves for the I had better show it was worth our while visiting !