Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Alpaca Island

Hello to all the wonderful fibre enthusiasts that I met at the Farmer's Showcase this past weekend! Welcome to my blog.
Just a reminder to Nanaimo weavers, spinners and knitters that I met, there is a meeting for the Mid-Island Weavers and Spinners Guild on the first Wednesday every month at 7:30pm (many of us show up earlier to hang out and spin or knit.) Meetings are held at St. Paul's Anglican Church at 100 Chapel Street in downtown Nanaimo. Come in through the side/back entrance, not the church's main entrance. The next meeting is November 7th. Hope to see some new faces there!
I finally got invited into Ravelry last week. My Ravelry name is AlphaMango. Hello to all Ravelry members!
It's been a busy month but I've still had time to enjoy my 100 mile fibre journey. During the Gabriola Island Thanksgiving Art Tour, my friend and I made a not-so-quick detour to Paradise Island Alpaca farm. The alpacas and chickens are raised organically and free range. The farm also has a small retail store on the premises where you can buy yarn and finished objects. Inside is also a production space where the local youth can be found processing, spinning and weaving. The farm also supports a Peruvian women's alpaca co-op.
Taylor, the farm mistress, is happy to sell roving and whole fleeces at super-reasonable prices. They also carry yarns for Crimpy Critters, another Gabriola Island alpaca farm.

Visit the alpacas and Dave & Taylor Turrie at 785 North Road Gabriola Island, BC.

While doing our art tour rounds, we had to stop by Trish Moon at Indigo Moon studio. My friend ended up buying a backseat's worth of local fleece from her. While there, Trish and I hashed out a deal where I'd knit up samples in exchange for yarn. Trish has released a huge line of wool yarns, along with her usual treasure trove of silk yarns. I've been busy working away at the swatches since she needs them for the holiday craft fair season which is already started in some corners of this island.
Here's my first sample swatches of here solid sock yarn.

It's superwash
ed fingering weight merino yarnand the colours are even more vibrant than the photo shows. As you can tell, they're not so much a plain solid as much as a 'shades of solid'. I used this yarn in 'Olive' for my Carved Jade Socks.
I've just started up a sample swatch for the variegated yarns and I'll post those photos once I get some mileage on them.

As I mentioned, I've been crazy busy for these last few weeks but there's always time to knit & spin.

Right now, I've got a capelet for my little sis on the needles. It's a local alpaca roving that I got in the spring. I spun it into a laceweight yarn. It's my first 100 mile alpaca project where I spin & knit! So excited about it.

My sis has her heart set on a off-centred capelet. She likes things simple and elegant so I'm going with a simple wave pattern for the main body of the capelet. In the back, I've got a pair'o leaves lace pattern going up the spine for a touch of drama.

For those times when my brain is too fried for lace knitting, I've been spinning up yarn for DH's Gaston socks:

I just finished spinning the yarn for them last night. I have about 400 yards of the cream Romney and 500 yards dark brown Romney spun to fingering weight. I bought the Romney fleece from Elaine Duncan at the Weaver's Rose Garden. She sells at the Errington Farmer's Market every weekend. The fleeces were from her own flock and she sells in many levels of processing, from whole unwashed fleeces to roving to yarn and even finished garments. I paid $8/lb for washed fleece. The sock yarn only used up a handful of ounces of fleece making these the cheapest pair of socks I've ever made :)

Have a fabulous week!