Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Baby Camel Down - A Little Goes a Long Way
I entered some skeins of handspun and a couple of handspun knitted garments in the county fair this summer. I got blue ribbons for everything, and a big rosette for the shawl, but the yarn I was most proud of was a tiny skein of baby camel down blend.
I bought four ounces of baby camel down (brown) and blended it with white bombyx silk and a bit of fawn-colored alpaca. I spun it very fine and then plied it somewhat loosely. Right now I've got almost 1700 yds of it, so I think I can quit now...I've still got roving left!
The fibers in the roving I bought were about 2-3 inches long, very fine, like baby alpaca, with no crimp at all. Baby camel has a micron count of 15-20, and has no luster. I started the project by making three skeins on the drop spindle - this gave me a 'slow motion' idea of how the drafting would go. When I was happy with the results I switched to the wheel for high yardage, fast spinning. I think if I'd been spinning JUST camel down I would have had less frustration but with the long chunks of silk in there, it was quite a task to keep the drafting even. Still, I am thrilled with the results. I plan to make a shawl.
Marty has gone back to school, my studio space is ALMOST finished, life is getting a bit back to normal. It's mushroom season! We'll be doing some camping and foraging, but I'll stick to edibles this time. And NO staining fungus!