Over on Ravelry, the spindlers group has monthly challenges. I’ve always followed other people’s take on the theme of the month, stalked the thread, and admired the yarn, but I’ve never actually taken part before.
This month, the theme is childhood, and I thought I had the perfect fiber and spindle to jump in. I bought this alpaca as part of my first lot of fibers from Wingham Wool, it’s in the natural shade Fawn, but in my eyes, it’s the perfect caramel colour (I can’t quite photograph the shade right, it’s slightly darker with more brown and reds in real life). It reminds me of the salted butter caramel sweets I used to have as a kid in France. For some reason I only tried to spin a bit of it when I first got it to try spinning alpaca, but I never really got round to spinning the rest of it. This felt like the perfect opportunity. The spindle is a reminder of the hours I spent on the swing set in our garden.
I’m not entirely sure yet what will happen to this skein so I decided to three-ply it because I love the look of three or four-ply yarn. I’m navajo-plying my yarn using the ply-on-the-fly technique, which for me is instant gratification because you can see straight away how the yarn is going to turn out once plied. Plus once you get into the rythm it’s a bit like when you get a bit of momentum on the swing.
Somehow I’m finding it more fiddly plying on the fly with alpaca than with wool, so I’m giving the singles quite a lot of twist and plying it more tightly than I usually would. It’s turning out about fingering weight, although I’ve not calculated wpi yet. The challenge only requires one skein to be spun by the end of the month regardless of its weight or length. I’m not going for a big skein, but would like to be able to not only spin but also knit a small item related to the theme by the end of December. I was thinking of maybe Mousie by Ysolda Teague, but that would only take a fraction of it, any other suggestions?