knittedgems

Prepping Alpaca without Tools and a Tag

In Spinning on October 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

A question was posted on Ravelry asking how to prep fiber without a carder. I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I just use my hands to prep alpaca fleece. (I haven’t tried to prep sheep’s wool yet). However, I’ve never taken the time to write down all the steps and take pictures along the way. I finally did this weekend.

This is how Buddy’s fleece looks before it is washed. Buddy is the blind alpaca that resides at my local alpaca farm. If you look closely enough, you can see the tips are matted.

Before I even wash the fleece, I first comb out the matted tips using Jake’s flicker brush. I also take the time to pull out all the second cuts and the large bits of vegetable matter, such as straw. The pile in the middle of the picture is all the junk I managed to pull just from this small section of Buddy’s fleece.

Then, I wash the fleece in warm water with a little bit of soap. Afterwards, I rinse it 2-3 times or until the water runs clear of grime and soap. This is what the fleece looks like after it is washed.

Next, I pull a small chunk out of the washed fleece.

From the small chunk, I remove 1 lock of alpaca.

Now starts the fun. I tease the fibers open width-wise.

Then, I pinch the ends of the fibers in each of my hands. Pulling gently but firmly, I coax the fibers completely part.

Next, I stack the fibers on top of each other and repeat the last step 2-3 times or until the fibers no longer cling to one another. The fibers should resemble a cloud.

Finally, I gently roll the fiber cloud down my thigh until it resembles a mini roving. It’s like rolling a cigar.

I repeat these steps until I have completely filled my recycled stationery box.

To spin the mini rovings, just grab one and start drafting it. When you get to the end of the mini roving, join in a new one.

OK. I admit that my technique does take a while to accomplish. You can make a batt on a drum carder in the amount of time it take me to make 10 mini rovings, but you won’t have nearly as much fun!

Meri of Elbit Blog bestowed a Brilliant Blog award on me. Thank you so much, Meri!

In accepting this award, I agree to:

1. Display the logo and link to the one who awarded it.

2. Nominate at least 7 blogs to receive the award.

3. Add links to those 7 blogs to my blog.

4. Leave the nominees a message that they have been nominated to receive the award.

And here are the 7 blogs I nominate:

Mr. Pooper’s Day Out
Mrs Petersson Knits
Knitting Knoobie
Hadley Gets Crafty
Today We Are….
Tom’s Astronomy Blog
Daily Fiber Adventures with WildHare

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  1. Wow! Thanks for the nomination: I’m honored.

  2. Very helpful post.

    Congratulations on your Award! I have to say thank you for your links – you always choose such interesting folks :)

  3. WOW! Thanks so much for the Nomination!!!

  4. Thank you for the nomination, and the inspiration to practise my spinning a bit more…

  5. Thanks for the nomination! That was so sweet of you to nominate me. As soon as I figure out how to do it, I’ll reciprocate!

  6. Thanks so much for that info. I was wondering how you prepared it.
    Vicki

  7. OOh thank you! I have had this one before so I’ll refrain from passing it on this time, but I’m very glad you like my blog :)

    I’m stunned by the amount of work that wool takes…

  8. Your comment about “not having nearly as much fun” is how I feel about spindling vs: a wheel.
    Thanks I couldn’t put it into words before.
    Vicki
    Oh yeah, I had to order a Jenkins spindle! Giggles

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