Spinning Around

While the weather has been cooler it’s been ideal to get out a couple of my spinning wheels and start spinning some of the fibre I’ve been accumulating. A lot of that fibre is prepared carded and dyed tops which is is quite easy to spin. I picked up this lovely tangerine merino at our Open Day this year.

Fibre 05Ashford Tangerine 02I’m using my beautiful Crofter wheel to spin this 250g. I also have a kilogram of undyed merino which I will use to ply with the tangerine making an orange/off white candy cane looking yarn. Well that’s the plan…let’s see how it works out.

Ashford Tangerine 01Now to the more challenging part of spinning. I’ve been given a couple of small bags of alpaca which has a bit of vegetation matter (VM) in it so I thought I’d use the wool combs I recently picked up at another Open Day.

Wool Combs 03I have no idea if they’re the right combs to use for this alpaca (Suri I think, as it’s quite long). This is my first attempt at combing alpaca and making these little birds’ nests. (As I had used my washing basket to store the alpaca, I then had to spin it straight away so I could bring in my washing 🙂 )

Alpaca first time wool combsI had previously tried to use hand carders and I made these rolags but I think the wool combs are quicker and easier and tend to get rid of more of the noils and VM.

Alpaca first time hand cardingI’m spinning this alpaca on my Wee Peggy wheel which I bought over two years ago and haven’t used yet!!

Alpaca practise 02Last night I searched through my bookcase and finally found a DVD I’d bought from Interweave Spinning Daily online shop called Combing Fiber. I have watched it previously but wanted to refresh my memory to see whether I had in fact been combing this fibre correctly. I’m so glad I did watch the DVD as I had forgotten one very important tip. This DVD is a ‘must have’ if you’re a beginner like me. Static electricity builds up when you’re combing fleece and I wondered why my alpaca was getting all ‘fly away’. Today I am going to use my solution of water and a bit of hair conditioner to spray on the alpaca before I start combing to see whether it makes a difference. I’m also going to contact a very experienced spinner who lives in Sydney (Ravelry name is Yowie) and find out whether I actually need different combs for alpaca….may be the double row of tines??

Combing FiberI have also recently bought a bag of alpaca from a member of the Australian Handspinners and Knitters Facebook Group who is raising money to rescue some ponies so she’s selling some of her fibre stash. This fleece is fine white alpaca and around 100mm in length. It’s well skirted and very clean (this caught my attention!!) The fleece was a place winner in its class at a very recent alpaca show. The owner is Westwind Alpacas and the alpaca’s name is Aladdin, born on 10/04/2013. Aladdin was also a place getter in his first show in 2014. The fleece I bought is his second fleece, ie fleece from 2014 shearing.

Aladdin alpaca 01Alpaca fleece white 03Aladdin alpaca 02Aladdin alpaca 03Aladdin alpaca 08I’m off to the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Spinning camp next weekend at Bribie Island. I may even take along my wool combs and alpaca and get some tips from other spinners.

That’s my news for now. I’m off to hang out the washing and do some more alpaca combing!

Until next time…



2 thoughts on “Spinning Around

  1. Hi Melanie, Am loving your blogs…. please keep them coming. I am a member of the Wollongong Spinners and Weavers Group so if you are even down this way, please call in and see us. I liked the idea of combing the alpaca…. will ask at the Group tomorrow and see what they say. The alpaca I have is very dirty/dusty so it has remained in the tub until…… one day. take care and keep on spinning. Deirdre Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2015 23:47:41 +0000 To: deirdrebowman@hotmail.com


    • Hi Deirdre, thanks so much for your kind words. I would love to visit your group if I’m ever in your area and I’d be interested to hear what your members say about combing dirty alpaca. Cheers, Melanie


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