Saturday, July 19, 2008

Brother Francis Llama Rescue & Retirement

Oh my!  I just spent what seems like a whole day (well, ok - it was several hours) recreating my old posts (copying them from my hard drive) so that I won't have lost everything.  It *is* like starting anew now but at least the older posts from my jetsetting trips to Italy (LOL) are there and you can live vicariously though me or use it as research if you're planning on going.

On to the llama fiber.  When I owned my yarn store (it's been closed a month this week), a woman came in and offered me FREE llama fiber!  Seeing as I'm a fiber junkie, there was no way I was turning that down!  Well, you know what they say about "free" - but in this case, I was really delighted.  You can actually see the fiber providers here -  This is a link to a wonderful organization called "Brother Francis Llama Rescue & Retirement".

After a week of finishing up the non-fun work stuff I had to do, I set about opening the many big garbage bags of fiber and found that it's decently clean and really beautiful colors.  Since I'm partial to that caramel color that llamas sometimes are, I grabbed one of the bags and decided to spin a swatch from it.  Beautiful!  But dirty!  Dirty as in very dusty.  So into the sink it went.  I used Dawn dishwashing liquid and soaked in it hot water for about 20 minutes.  Then I gave it several rinses and found that my wrought iron deck table is the perfect drying rack!  (I do want to send a note to whatever llama this came from because he/she did an extraordinary job of staying out of the weeds!)

I feared that a big breeze was going to come up and I was going to have fawn-colored llama fur all over the yard but it stayed calm enough throughout the drying process.  As it dried, I fluffed it up and it grew and grew!  Look at all that fiber!
I have just acquired a very old model Patrick Green carder and decided that its maiden voyage with me was going to result in some nice, soft, fluffy llama batts.  It worked!
Next, I set about spinning this lovely fiber into some moderately bulky singles.  I want to be able to use this fiber to knit and felt a Fiber Trends llama that I can either give back to the rescue or sell for fundraising.  After all, we want these llamas to keep eating and producing this lovely fiber, right?!
I plied these singles from a center pull ball to created a kind of lumpy lookin' but very soft two-ply.

I'll keep ya posted on the progress with the llama knitting.  Our little spinning group - "The Hot Wheels" is getting together today and I know what I'll be spinning!  By the way, if you should want to donate to Brother Francis, follow that link above - I'm sure they'll greatly appreciate it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Holy Cow! Back after a very long absence...

Hi! I have spent several hours trying to figure out how to log into my old Blogger account. I ended up creating a new account and maybe "faking it out" to think it's the old one. Gotta try to find a way to restore the old posts. Well, what's new? Well, I guess A LOT since I haven't posted in literally (it looks like) a couple of years! So, I'm going to try this again and we'll see what happens. Tomorrow, I promise a post on some lovely Llama fiber that I was gifted. I photo documented the process of spinning my first skein from it and I'll tell the story behind it. To tide you over until then, I've been snapping pix of my pooches. Buddy is the elderly Pug, Annie is the rambunctious French Bulldog and Maisy is a 10-month-old Lab who is visiting until the end of August and who is giving Annie a run for her pointy-eared money!