I took my llama down and spindle with me when we went to visit my sister and her family in MA over the weekend, so I taught her how to spin with it. She got a kick out of it, and was very natural at it too. There are some thicker spots where she played with it, but they’re not really noticeable. Considering that she had never spun before, she did a great job! Today I spun up some more, enough to ply and see how it looks after finishing.

Llama down cop

I used a center-pull ball to make a 2-ply:

Llama 2-ply

This is how it looked before “finishing.”

Llama mini-skein prior to finishing

According to Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning, yarn spun woolen needs to be fulled. So I soaked it in hot water with some wool wash and smushed it around with a large spoon. The book suggests using a plunger, but I don’t have one that hasn’t been used in a toilet.. the spoon worked fine, I think. Then I rinsed it in cold water and repeated the hot-cold cycle, toweled out the excess water, and thwacked the yarn on the counter several times, which was very satisfying! All of this supposedly evens out the twist and allows the crossed fibers to bloom, which results in a softer, airier yarn.

Llama 2-ply after fulling

It really is delightfully soft. I wish I could capture that in photos. Tomorrow I’ll swatch it and figure out what to do with it. I have ideas, but again need to keep it secret because it will be involved with my holiday knitting. All of my super secret knitting will be on Ravelry, since none of my recipients are there.  If you’re not on there yet, sorry!  I’ll reveal everything after gifts are given.  🙂

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Today I was inspired by the Spindlers group on Ravelry to participate in the November Spinning Challenge which has a “World Traveller” theme. The very talented Elemm posted a gorgeous photo of his entry so of course I have to join in too! I picked up the Bosworth featherweight spindle and llama down I bought at Rhinebeck, and this is what I have so far.

This is my first experience with llama, and my first time spinning woolen, which is to say that the fibers did not come nicely combed and aligned like the “top” roving I’ve been spinning so far, so I allowed crossed fibers to become incorporated into the yarn. I plan to make a 2-ply, and it should become a lighter, airier yarn after finishing. I think it will work out nicely, since the llama down is so fluffy and soft.

 

I was going to say “Rhinebeck haul,” but I didn’t really buy that much! Thank goodness for my cranky 3-year-old. First up is this gorgeous little walnut featherweight spindle I bought directly from the Bosworths. It weighs 0.46 oz and has a perfectly balanced spin.


Next is some really lovely and soft merino/angora (80/20) from Delly’s Delights Farm, an 8oz batt.


Lastly, some llama down from Lars of West Mountain Farm. He rubbed it on Edith’s (our au pair) cheek and said it’s a great way to meet girls, then called himself a dirty old man. What a character!


The photo cannot capture how soft this stuff is!