>Lust at first sight

>Dateline: late 2007
The Place: The Salvos Op Shop, Castlemaine
The object of my desire: a plastic bag containing over a kilo of lustrous, soft, silvery-grey BWM Alpaca ‘laps’ for the princely sum of $5
$5 ?
for a kilo ?
I had no idea what the going rate for ‘ laps’ should be … and what were laps anyway ?

did I spin ? well no, not unless you count a brief flirtation with a drop spindle back in my art teaching days 30 years ago
own a wheel ? nyet
was that going to stop me ? not on your Nellie

and that’s where it started
A friend from quilting offered the loan of a wheel and a quick how-to, along with the [rather dogmatic ] statement that alpaca wasn’t for beginners … that, at the very least, I’d need to card it with something a bit more beginner friendly which she could supply. Arrangements were made and she sold me a bag of plain, pedestrian, beige Corriedale cross. I yearned for my gorgeous alpaca but in my heart of hearts I knew that she was right, the Corriedale was probably a better place to begin and I didn’t want to ruin my lovely find.

I acquired a wheel of my very own thanks to lovely Lisette and I was off… as has been chronicled before

Fast forward to this week and the current Tour de Fleece-fueled spinning frenzy.
That seductive alpaca has been singing its siren song every time I reached past it for another denizen of the fleece tub
and on Saturday I succumbed
I completely ignored the injunction to blend it with something easier to handle and you know what? Somewhere along the line my spinning skills must have caught up to my ambitions because the ‘sacred’ alpaca has been a delight to spin [ once I overcame my tendency to chronically underspin everything ]

First bobbin:
which was then duplicated – you don’t need a photo of that because it looks the same…
then the two were plied together – which takes forever
then wound onto the niddy noddy for skeining
washed and whacked into submission
dried in front of the fire
et voila
320 metres of lovely soft silveriness


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