One of the things I’ve been learning at Cuesta Alpaca is how to spin! I’ll do another more in depth post on how spinning works once I’m done with my current project (I’m spinning some fleece from an alpaca that I got to help shear!), but for now I thought I would share some of my first attempts.
Jenny taught me how to spin on an Electric Eel Wheel Nano first. I didn’t take any pictures of the wheel, but if you go to the link, you should get the idea. It’s much smaller than a normal wheel and has been designed to be cheap enough to help get more hobbyists into spinning.
For my first attempt I used whatever leftover roving Jenny had, probably some merino blend and a bit of alpaca. It was rather uneven, but it turned out just fine when knitted into hat form! The Nano doesn’t pull very hard, so I was able to get the yarn nice and airy (definitely did that on purpose…) which makes the final knitted hat soft.
My next attempt was alpaca and silk. For this one I combed the alpaca (the black strand) myself and spun it on a full size wheel. The yarn turned out rather dense because I didn’t introduce enough air while spinning. This is probably because I didn’t spread out the fibers enough while spinning and I probably had the tension on the wheel set too high so it pulled the fiber too hard. Either way, the yarn turned out really pretty if not very light.
For my most recent attempt, I spun a much chunkier yarn and played around with color blending. I dipped into Jenny’s leftover roving stash again to find fibers in interesting colors. I didn’t take any photos while I was doing it (even though I should have!) but I blended the colors on a carding machine. The general idea is that you can run fiber through a carding machine and it will combine, the more times you run the fiber through, the more homogeneous the colors come out. So I used a dark purple as a base for the yarn and I blended different colors in to create the stripes.
Spinning has been a lot of fun so far and I am excited to do more of it! I think I’ll have to invest in some equipment when I get back home…