21 March 2012

procrastination and fleece

I'm sitting here with my computer, trying to gather the focus to write more about phrasal verbs. Instead of doing my work, most of me just wants to sleep. Or do something else, which is why the fourth load of laundry today is now on its way through the dryer, and I have hand-washed a sweater, a silk top, and two pairs of socks.

Anyway, I'm going to write a little about my trip to FibresWest on Friday and then start writing about verbs again.

FibresWest is a fibre festival/trade show of sorts. My guild (the Fraser Valley Knitting Guild) had a table there where we set up swifts and ball-winders, and wound yarn for free for people who'd bought hanks of yarn from the vendors there. I got to wind a massive skein of mohair yarn that made me wonder if I'd ever get to the end or if I'd just be stuck there, winding yarn like it was my punishment in Hades.

But, no, really, it was a lot of fun. This is my third year going to the festival. The first year, I bought some yarn and spinning stuff, and a spindle, but didn't stay too long. The next year, I stayed longer, and came home with more yarn and more spinning fibre.

This year, especially after Yarn Harvest back in September, I decided it would be best to limit myself to spinning fibre only, since I really don't need to buy more yarn (wanting to buy more yarn is an entirely different problem, but I just stayed away from the yarn as much as possible to avoid temptation). I told my friend, Jenny, with whom I was manning the guild table, that I was going to buy some cotton for spinning. Which I did. I now have half a pound of organic green cotton fibre, which I've started spinning using my takhli spindle (I like trying new fibres that I haven't spun with before--this is my first time spinning plant fibre). Then I walked past the llama breeder's table.

This is Max, the newest member of our family.

The look on Jenny's face when I walked back to the table with the giant bag of llama fleece was priceless, especially when I said, "This is Max!" Max is the chocolate brown llama from whom this fleece came. I chatted with the breeder, heard an anecdote or two about the llama whose fleece I now have (he recently became a daddy llama, father to a baby llama with black fleece), and decided that whatever sweater I end up knitting with Max will be named after him.

I've been carding my way through the fleece over the last few days, since it was clean enough that I didn't feel the need to wash it, and once I'm done carding it (and once I'm finished spinning up the Romney fleece), I'll start sampling and figure out what type of yarn the fleece wants to be. It's wonderfully soft and has a delightful barnyard scent to it (why yes, I'm probably a little nuts, but I've been characterized as a country girl who happens to live in the city). The chocolatey shades are really nice, too, and I'm looking forward to see how the natural variegation works up in the knitted item.

I think I may end up liking llama more than alpaca. Since there is a mound of llama fleece rolags on the coffee table, and llama fibres attaching themselves to my clothing every time I get the carders out, I'd better enjoy it.

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