Alpaca shawls, & Interweave’s Knittng Lab in NH Oct. 4-7

Sept. 21, 2012

During the heat and steam of summer, I like to keep busy within air-conditioned spaces. One of our spinning guild members came upon a truck-load of donated alpaca which she gave to anyone who wanted some. I sent most of mine off to have Zeilinger’s process it into clean roving, but kept 2 cria fleeces–one red, one blue-black. Amazing the colors alpacas can grow! My sheep can’t make a true black, and certainly not a red! I struggled with the “free fleece, which is worth what I paid for it…” Very short staple, about an inch or less, and about 1/3 of it too short to spin, even right off the hand cards. It was dirty, of course, leaving my fingers coated with mud. I find washing alpaca after it’s yarn is a better way to handle the fiber. I’ve knitted 2 shawls with it in the past 2 months, and have one more skein prepared. I spun and knitted during the same 2 months, and rejoiced when I finally spun the very last of the pound or so which had been in the bag. I’m blocking the second shawl as I speak (well, so to say) and will show you a picture of both shawls and the skein that awaits its project.

I’m packing for the Interweave Knitting Lab in Manchester, NH, next week. Maybe I’ll see some of you there! I have a bag of supplies with the class description for each of the 4 major classes I’ll take there: Donna Druchanas’ “Lithuanian beaded wrist warmers,”  “Lithuanian socks,” “Lace design,” and  Beth Brown-Reinsel’s “Traditional Gansey Techniques.” My daughter from CT is coming with me, so we’ll enjoy the experience together. We’ll only take one class together, however, so will have techniques to share later. I’ve done most of these techniques in the past, but want to pick up whatever tips these women have to share after their publications and many classes taught–now it’s my turn! I’ve never attended such a meeting for knitting, so this will be an adventure. I’ll keep you posted!

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