Last week, I decided to search out all my neglected fiber and get it all made into combed tops at Zeilinger.
It’s kinda hard to let go of a lot of it. There’s a lot of special colors and fibers I’m going to have to blend together, because their tops minimums are kinda high. It’s also an expensive process, more than just buying new commercial fiber, but I’m just in love with the combed tops Zeilinger makes. They’re just so much nicer to spin than mass-produced commercial tops, and you get exciting blends.
(A lot of what I’m getting combed is fiber I’ve already paid to have processed, but just wasn’t happy with. If I were one of those brave, honest people, I could calculate the madly high rate I’m paying all told, what with the original cost of the fiber, shipping to me, shipping to and from the original processor, their processing fees, shipping to and from Zeilinger, their processing, and the fiber loss… Yikes. But last time I sent unhappy rovings to Zeilinger for tops, I learned a wonderful secret: that you can, in fact, polish a turd. That makes it a lot harder to just cut my losses. Plus the combing eliminates every speck of VM & neps, which means that even if I get way more than I need, I can always use the fiber as a luscious base for fine batts. How deft is my rationalization?)
Here’s what I’ve got in mind right now…
2 luxury local blends:
Local natural darks blend: mostly Alpacas in Wildcat Hollow goodness, with some Ewephoria llama. This one’s because the Wildcat colors are so beautiful separately, but I did a test carding in roughly the proportions I’ll be blending, and it’s pretty amazingly beautiful, a medium-dark heathered brown. This will have everything from black and dark brown to some coppery stuff and dark charcoal/brown llama. And I won’t miss monkey-grooming hay out of that cottony alpaca fiber.
Local natural white blend: tons of Wildcat Hollow alpaca, plus Ewephoria llama and merino X.
1 mostly-local natural gray blend:
Mostly in the gray family and more subdued natural browns, ranging from medium wools to softer Romney, softer still llama, and a little moorit merino. Lots of soft local yum, and a lot of lighter colored odds and ends I just haven’t gotten around to using. I’m hoping for sturdy, bouncy, and fairly soft.
2 dyed blends:
Greenies: dyed greens and some blues. This will be a soft bouncy mix of rambouillet, cormo & merino X, with maybe some medium wool for strength, and maybe some alpaca, too.
Violet blues: A stronger, lustrous mix, medium wools, kid mohair, Romney & some odds & ends. This will have dyed white for vibrancy and dyed nautral colored fiber for deep color.
And if I have enough fiber to pull off one last batch, a mostly-local creamy white blend with alpaca, mohair, and wool, for dreamy dyeing.
In knitting news, Vera sent the last of the Skinny Cat yarn! Yay! I’ve finished one sleeve will will probably have my February sweater done and done by the end of the week. Hurrah!