On Saturday, Oct 1, Lynda and I went out to Sabamba Alpaca Farm in DePere, WI, for their Day-on-the-Farm Open House. They invited spinners to come and spin fiber into yarns for visitors to see what can be done with the alpaca fibers.
There were 4 of us spinning under a tent just outside the barn, with the alpacas within site. It was very Scottish weather yesterday, so we were grateful for the makeshift shelter. Visitors stopped by to see what we were doing, and to ask questions about spinning, the fibers, etc. We were happy to explain ...
The 2 ladies from the Fox Valley Spinning Guild who'd been there all day had these Woolee Winder fliers on their spinning wheels. No hooks on the flier. Instead the Wollee Winder loop moved up and down the arms of the flier and deposits the yarn onto the spool evenly, so you don't have to stop and move the yarn down the hooks when one section of the bobbin gets full. Kind of a cool innovation! They sell for about $225 and can be fitted for many different spinning wheels -- including my beloved Louet S90. I'm not quite convinced I need one yet ... but who knows? It solved a problem I never knew I had!
Lynda was spinning a swanky "Tail Spin" yarn where she plied curly locks in with 2 strands of yarn. The idea is that the resulting yarn can look like a swanky 1920s (or would that be 1940s?) collar with the kinky/crimpy locks falling out of the yarn. Would be a great collar ... [Sorry--I couldn't get the camera to focus on the locks.]
I was working on a simple yarn from an old bag of angora fiber that I won as a door prize when I first started getting interested in the Fiber Arts way back in 1999 (or so). It's about time I did something with it! Very soft creamy fiber to work with. Maybe I'll even have enough for a hat this winter?
Clouds of angora fiber. Ahhh!
"Drift away on a fluffy cloud ..."
It was neat talking to Sally and Tom Schmidt, the owners. Although they raise the alpacas, they don't do the "finishing" or crafting the fiber into finished products--although their shop is filled with mittens, hats, gloves, shawls, etc, they send that off to a mill to be made for them. Lynda has a fleece from Abraham, a beautiful gray alpaca -- who just so happens to love having his picture taken with visitors. She wanted to get more of his fleece, and was happy to meet the old fellow. Tom and Sally were genuinely moved to see the gorgeous yarn Lynda had made from Abraham's fleece.
I was looking for a black fleece to go along with Maggie (Newfie) fur. Sally did not have any raw fleeces on display or for sale on Saturday, as most of these visitors were looking for finished products for Christmas presents. Although she did introduce us to Abraham, and the couple of beautiful black alpacas in the herd. She could easily rattle off their family lines. Lynda and I will have to go back another day after Sally pulls those fleeces out of storage. Another road trip!
I also got an invitation to join The Twist of Fate Fiber Arts Group that meets at Menasha Public Library on the 4th Wednesday of each month. I'm hoping this might replace the whole in my heart when Conversations in Cloth died. I think they meet in the very same room!