Friday, February 10, 2012

Hello, My Name is Christine and I am a Fiber Fanatic

Do you hear that dripping sound? It is the block of ice I put around my heart, melting. I mean, how could it not? Look at her.

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Even in her rough condition, Aibileen is incredibly cute. She had some health issues that we believe she suffered with for quite some time before being rescued. She’s better now, but the long-term infection left her fiber in a rough state. That stripe on her nose is actually where the hair has worn away from rubbing on a feeder.

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You can see that there is really no sheen to her fiber at all and she generally looks like she needs a day or two at the salon for a hot oil treatment. It is particularly noticeable if you compare her to Thelma, who has had about nine months of good health and nutrition.

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But, I tell you, nobody does sheen better than Minnie. Her fleece also looks as if it has been frosted, like those 1990s hairstyles we all used to wear. They are all classified as heavy-wooled llamas, but Minnie adds the word extra in front of that. She’ll produce a great deal of fiber every year.

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I’m looking forward to shearing. Llama fiber is generally not as fine as alpaca fiber and therefore not quite as soft. They also don’t have as much crimp. Crimp is what makes a yarn stretchy. Luckily, I happen to have some super-crimpy sheep and I can combine the two to make a very nice yarn. In fact, I just received a batch of my mill spun yarn this week from Fluery Sheep and Wool. That is Sophia, the sheep, mixed with Dino and Peter, the alpacas on the left in a 50/50 blend. On the right is Blanche, the sheep, and Sammy, the alpaca, in about a 70/30 blend.

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I know that in business you are supposed to sell your products. I mean that is kind of the whole point, but after knitting up some sample swatches, I want to keep every inch of it. It is so incredibly soft. Knitters, if you have ever used Cascade Eco-Duo, this yarn is that soft.

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I calculated it, I have enough fingering weight yarn here to make 80 pairs of socks. I need 8o pairs of socks, right? That’s not unreasonable, everyone could use 80 pairs of socks. I mean, it’s not like at my age my feet are suddenly going to grow. I should keep it. Right?

18 comments:

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Your Llamas are lovely!! Beautiful eyes!

Beth said...

just beautiful. i never thought they were too neat. but now that i read your blog ... i'm opening my eyes to how beautiful they really are. such great creatures indeed. thank you for that. (:

Karen said...

Christine -- I can hear the drip -- and I can completely relate -- missing my horse friends as well.

I'm always astonished at the beauty of your girls -- they are really stunning and your photography is the best.

Keep on keepin' on -- it heals the heart and makes folks smile !!

Karen

I need orange said...

80 pairs of socks! What an excellent idea! *I* need 80 pairs of socks!!!!!!!!!!!

:-) lol...........

Love your beautiful critters (and beautiful yarn). Thank you for sharing them with us.

Marti said...

Your llamas are unique. Each one is so different. And 80 pairs of socks sounds just about right.

Kellie said...

80 pairs of socks sounds a might low to me.......


lol! ;)

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

Keep it, or sell some to me!!!!!
Kim

Miss Effie said...

It looks fantastic..... and 80 pairs??? Go for it! That selling fiber is over-rated! :)

melanie said...

Or swap some....? Double the yarn, even blend the two for a tweedy look and you have something close to heavy sport or Aran/DK weight....how about a sweater to go with all those socks...?

Theresa said...

Fair Isle! You gotta try some Fair Isle!!! If you need help, I know who to ask :-).

Karen Anne said...

Do those ladies like to be brushed I'd like to reach right through the screen and brush Aibileen, all the while talking softly to her.

Christine said...

I know, Karen Anne, I want to do the same thing. She's not quite there yet, but is at least letting me stand right next to her. Touching will be the next step in our relationship. Given where they all came from, it really is almost like dealing with wild animals. The trust building is slooooow.

Dinah said...

You know, Christine, I can take some of that off your hands and you won't need to make 80 pairs of socks. . Beautiful llamas!

-Dinah

Mad about Craft said...

Those Llamas are lucky to have you.

The yarn looks 'lush' as British youngsters say these days

Michelle said...

Won't you even put a PRICE on some of that yarn? I'm thinking one of Romi's two-color shawlettes would be stunning in those two colors....

thecrazysheeplady said...

Abilene is going to be beautiful after a bit of time in your care. Can't wait!

My "word" is forevero :-)

Nancy K. said...

You do NOT need 80 pairs of socks.

But you DO need 7 pairs of socks and a SHAWL!

It's like wrapping yourself up in a sheepy HUG!

;-)

Lauren Scheuer said...

Lovely! What fun to meet your llamas and learn a bit about them and their wool.