18 May 2012

Test Spinning

I’m getting ready for a big sprint with the alpaca fleece I need to get spun up (and then knitted into a shawl).
I wanted to see how well the alpaca spun up on the spindle, and it turns out that works just great. I’m happy about this as the spindle is very portable and restful and even when I don’t feel up to sitting at the wheel, I generally enjoy spinning with the supported spindle.
The next question was how to put the yarn together: 2 ply or 3 ply? I did a test skein which is mostly 3 ply with a bit of 2 ply at the end. It’s spun woolen, so it bloomed and fluffed up after washing, which is exactly what I was hoping for. There is a bit of texture to this yarn – not a lot, but there are always a few spots where it’s a bit more loosely spun or where a little tuft appears, and I think the 3 ply balances that out a little better.
The final shawl is going to have large sections of stockinette, as I’ve found that alpaca looks quite beautiful in plain knitting that lets the beauty of the fibre show through and accentuates the drape, so I’m leaning towards the 3 ply yarn as it will fill in the fabric a little more easily. If I were doing a more openwork lace, I’d want the two ply, as it is finer.
Well, it *is* a huge fleece, I suspect I can do some of each!
I’ll need to do a test knit with the yarns and see how they each look in stockinette. That’ll be the next project.
Meanwhile, here’s what we have so far:

The strands pulled out are 3 ply (on top) and 2 ply (on the bottom).
Pretty colour, eh? I love rose gray alpaca.

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