...but I've been spinning a lot lately! Last week, I received some gorgeous hand-painted merino fiber in the mail and have been spinning some of it up. I have about a little over half of one batch spun into sock yarn and ooo la la! It's so soft and pretty! So far, I have 2 skeins of 2-ply yarn, about 55 yards each, and still spinning on the rest of it. I can't wait to knit it up in to socks! This colorway if called "Squidge" and is spinning up in to the most beautiful pastel colors. Pictures when I get new batteries.
Last evening, I was knitting a sock on my break while at work. A woman approached me and asked to touch the yarn. My project is a pair of socks, 100% alpaca in white, and some pretty handpainted tussah silk that I spun to do the toes and heels in. She had never seen fiber like I was using. The alpaca was much clean and softer than she'd felt before and she had never laid eyes on tussah silk. She asked me where I got the fiber and I told her that I had imported it from the USA. Oddly (I thought), she wasn't surprised. I think that the difference is that in Peru, the processing of the fiber is very different.
I met an English woman few weeks ago that is working on an import/export business here in Lima. She told me that on the average, Peruvian artisans do not take much care in the processing of their fiber. It remains very dirty and stiff with a lot of vegetable matter left in, right through the knitting of the object or garment. This woman is arranging to export top of the line baby knitwear and is having a very hard time finding suppliers who want to take enough care to pick, skirt, wash, and card their fiber well enough to meet the standards that she sets for her business. She plans to export to Europe, if she can find a supplier that will consistently supply her with clean, well-made knitwear.
Oh! And have you seen THIS? What a great opportunity to make a warm alpaca shawl! Woolyworks and Odyssey Rock Ranch have the cleanest, fluffiest, and softest fiber! And I can personally attest to the warmth of the fiber. It knits up so fast! Gorgeous stuff!