I might as well have joined Tour de Fleece officially, because there has been a lot of spinning happening this month.

“Mud Season” from Spunky Club’s March fiber
100% merino wool, 4 oz.
fingering weight, approx. 470 yards

This was a long project, after I finished the first 2 oz I took a break from it for awhile. But as I got used to the fiber, and my spinning improved, I got a bit faster and the second half flew by. Spinning merino gives a very satisfying result – a soft, bouncy, squishy skein of yarn. The colors in this go so well together. Right now I’m thinking it will be the Palette scarf from Knitty.

“Franny” from A Verb for Keeping Warm
100% Bluefaced Leicester, 2 oz.
DK weight, unknown yardage

After hoarding AVFKW roving for months, I finally pulled some out to spin. I think this was my first time spinning BFL…I can’t believe I waited this long! It drafts wonderfully, it’s got a little crimp, and a little sheen, and it plies all bouncy and gorgeous. I love it. See?

Oh, and the red-orange-salmon colors of this naturally dyed fiber spun up so gorgeous too. It’s going to be even harder to resist buying more roving from her now.

Finally, in an effort to fill up my already-scarce free time even more, I’ve started dyeing fiber. Nuttnbunny tipped me off to a Fiber Swap Club on Ravelry. The swap lasts for three months; we were put into groups of four, and each month we send 4 oz. of fiber to one other person in the group. I joined and have used it as an excuse to start dyeing, which is something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. I just mailed my first swap package yesterday, so I can show what’s inside of it yet (lest I ruin the element of surprise), but here are some dye experiments on alpaca.

2 oz. of combed alpaca top, kettle dyed
I call this one “Northern Lights”.

1 oz. of combed alpaca top, handpainted & steamed
“Mermaid”
The colors in this got a little more blended than I intended, but that’s why it’s an “experiment”. I think I should have steamed it in something a little flatter – I used a cheap colander that I bought at Salvation Army, but I think a lot of the dye pooled down and mixed. Luckily the colors blend well. I spun this up the other night to see what it looks like. The mini-skein is drying now. More details soon!

My alpaca top is some natural gray fiber I bought at Piedmont Yarn. It’s called “Handspinner’s Dream” from Alpaca With a Twist. It’s really lovely stuff, and it comes in a whole range of natural alpaca fleece colors. It takes the color wonderfully…and it is making me seriously consider doing something crazy like adopting an alpaca.

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