Dookie (the alpaca fleece mentioned in my January goals) has been a part of my life for a while now. Dookie is an alpaca, whose fleece came to live with me when Geodyne moved back to her antipodeal home. This is about 600g of wonderful, dark, bitter-chocolate coloured raw alpaca blanket; most of it is great quality, and really soft:
For a long time, Dookie’s fleece lived in a corner of the hallway. In November, I suddenly realised that I had no spinning project on my wheel, and my last visit to Rampton Spinners (as a regular, anyway) was the next day. What to spin?!
Dookie to the rescue. One of the delightful things about alpaca fleece is that it has no lanolin; no grease. I’m not a fan of spinning in the grease, so alpaca is a win because I don’t have to wash it first. Definitely a bonus when I need to have a project on the wheel the next day.
I’m using this as an opportunity to practise hand carding. This fleece is consistently high enough quality that I can just grab a handful, card it into rolags, and spin from there.
I’m planning a lovely, soft, squishy three-ply yarn, possibly for use in a cabled sweater. Though I am aware that a cabled alpaca sweater may yet be a recipe for hyperthermia; all plans are always subject to change. So far, I have two bobbins full of singles (you can see the natural colour variation clearly in this shot); no plied yarn at all, and there is still a lot of fleece to go:
Dookie is is also a very mucky alpaca. They usually are; there might not be any grease, but there is always plenty of dust. If I spend an evening working with Dookie, I inevitably end up with black bogeys the next day (didn’t you want to know that!!), and spinning makes my fingers (and wheel) dirty indeed:
Last Friday, I spent the evening carding rolags while watching telly on my laptop. The next day, I spent some time using the laptop for monthly budget activities – only to find that my fingers suddenly looked like this:
I’m thinking a need a cover for my laptop.