Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Alpaca fiber

This is some nice stuff.

I'm working on the "fancy" alpaca first.

It's dirty. My fingers are black when I'm done spinning a few batts.

It has VM... it's annoying but I'm getting better at picking the stuff out.

Most annoying are the many second cuts. I plan to call my source before too long (certainly before May when they plan to shear again) and advise her that she needs to strongly encourage her shearer to avoid second cuts.

I'm dealing with the static electricity by layering the fiber with dryer sheets. I stuffed some dryer sheets in the original bag with the fiber. Then after I pull some locks out and remove as many second cuts as I can and as much VM as I can, I layer the locks between the dryer sheets in a basket near the drum carder and leave it overnight.

The second day, I run it through the drum carder (usually twice but sometimes three times if I think it needs it). I'm getting batts between 3 and 4 ounces. I'm rolling these up in little nests and laying the nests between layers of dryer sheets.

It is utterly amazing how much dirt comes out of this stuff. Lots of dust is left behind in the drum carder (the vaccuum cleaner helps with that).

I shake the batt gently before I roll it into a nest and more dirt and vm comes out. Then, when I spin, I put a cloth in my lap. Wow... lots and lots of dirt and vm come out.

Just for experimental purposes, I washed two of the nested batts. This is going to be gorgeous yarn. I just hope the dirt comes out of the spun stuff.

1 comment:

T said...

Try putting some in the dryer with the dryer sheets and no heat to get some of the dirt/VM out of it before you try to card it.