I won at Taos!


I am so excited! I entered three skeins into the Taos Wool Festival, and all three won prizes!

My skein of Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn won first place in its division, and won Reserve Grand Champion for the spindle spun yarn!
I knit a swatch, and oooohhhhh this is going to make a nice pair of socks! I used US000 needles, and I plan on knitting just a plain stockinette sock, or maybe a use the stitch pattern, "King Charles Brocade" on the cuff.

Details -
Prepared roving, Alpaca 66%, Nylon 34% - purchased from Eyedazzler Alpacas
Top whorl drop spindle, approx 1 oz
Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the fly technique
Entered in the Spindle Category, Expert (because I've won competitions in the past, and because I teach spinning lessons. I feel like such a fraud - I'm FAR from an "expert"- I consider myself an advanced beginner - but these were the rules), plied, undyed alpaca fiber.

The judge marked on the card, "3 ply" and I just had to smile to myself. See, some folks insist that Navajo Plied yarn isn't really a 3 ply, it's a single ply, folded upon itself. I must admit to a certain immaturity, but I get endless amusement out of this, lol.

At any rate, I just love to do this ply on the fly method of plying yarn. I think that it is really fun to do, and for me, spinning is an area in my life where I want to have fun. So... I use this method of plying for just about everything.

Remember the socks which I spun and knitted for my friend, Anastasia? Well, she's not really a shoes and socks sort of lady, so I had knit her a pair of bed socks. She waxed so nostalgic about her sheep ranching days, that I would like to spin and knit a pair of gloves for her - so that she can wear the gloves out in public and show them off to her friends, and they can all reminisce about their days, ranching in the valley. I think that she'll really like them.

I digress.

I entered a skein of yarn which I'm spinning for the gloves project, and it won second place! (You might like to see what the fleece looked like before it was washed - I like to post these pictures so that folks know that wool washes CLEAN!)
I really am happy with this yarn. I really like Suffolk. Can you see the sheen? The judge commented that she didn't think that this yarn would make nice gloves, that it was too thin and too stiff. However, I plan to make a twisted-stitch glove, and the yarn came out exactly how I wanted it to - thin and tight - so I think that it'll make excellent gloves. I can't wait to get started knitting this project.

Details -
Flick carded, pseudo rolags
Top whorl drop spindle, approx 1 oz.
Entered in Spindle spun, expert, undyed wool, plied.

The yarn of which I am the most proud, however, is this one. I really REALLY like this yarn. I'm stunned that it even placed, as it's quite thick-n-thin, but I like it just the same.I love spinning with Alpaca, but I always spin it really fine. I think that Alpaca does very well spun fine, and truthfully, I've never been able to spin it any other way. I've always bought my roving from Eyedazzler Alpacas, and it's so nicely prepared and soft and wonderful so that it drafts really easily, and, well, it just always ends up as a really fine yarn. I was determined to learn how to spin a thicker, softer, loftier alpaca yarn, and when I saw this fleece (on the animal's back as I was vacuuming it, lol) I knew that this was the fleece I wanted. I knew, instantly, how I was going to spin it, and what I was going to make with it.

This is from the batch that I washed early this summer.

I flicked locks, then made pseudorolags and then spun just barely enough for the singles to hold together. This is sooooo different from my usual way of spinning! I spun it at such a low twist that the single couldn't support the weight of the spindle, so I used my bike wheel instead. I love Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the Fly technique, so I had to figure out how to make it work on my spindle wheel. It took some head-scratching, but I finally came up with a method which works and is quite easy, actually. The end result is a nice, soft, lofty yarn and I just love it.
As you can see from these photos, the fleece has some natural color gradation. I sorted the fleece into three piles, light, medium and dark, and spun to as to maintain this slight variation. I'm really thrilled with the end result.

This was really a stretch for me - I feel like I really learned a lot from this project. Best of all, it was really FUN!

Details -
Fleece from the alpaca named "Nico" who lives at Eyedazzler Alpacas.
flick carded, pseudo rolags
Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the Fly, adapted for the Spindle Wheel (It's lots of fun!!!)
Entered in wheelspun, expert, undyed alpaca, plied.

Entering fiber competitions is so much fun! I wasn't able to attend the Taos Wool Festival - I sent my entries to the festival with some friends. They tell me that it was a good competition, that there were quite a few entries. Sigh. I wish I could have gone. I would have loved to see all of the skeins, and I especially wish that I could have seen all of the prize winners.

There's something I'd like to point out - many of us entered yarns and other items made from fibers from Eyedazzler Alpacas, and all of us won ribbons! My friends, Sharron, Erin, and Peggy (and maybe others who I don't know) spun Eyedazzler yarn and won ribbons. Sharron knitted a hat which won a ribbon. A woman made a needle-felted sculpture out of Eyedazzler fiber, and won a ribbon. Allie, one of the owners of Eyedazzler entered a fleece and won Grand Champion!

I'd say that this only proves what I've been saying all along - Eyedazzler Alpacas produces some glorious fiber!!! Allie recently received a new shipment from the fiber mill, and oh my gosh, she has some wonderful blends. My favorites are Bing Cherry Cordial and Storm Watch - the colors are wonderful, just wonderful. It's really fun for me because I know these animals, so when I see their names in the descriptions, it gives me a little thrill, lol. I see something like this, Charley, Tori and Bamboo, and I think to myself, "Hmmm.... I know Charley and I know Tori, but I don't remember an alpaca named "Bamboo..." and then suddenly it hits me, heh heh heh.

Anyway, you absolutely can't go wrong with any fiber purchase from Eyedazzler. If there's something that you want, but don't see on the web site, then be sure to drop Allie a line and ask her - she has loads of products which are not on the site. Just email her!


fleegle said...

Congratulations 3Times! Beautiful spinning! And Navajo ply is my favorite too!

Sandy said...

Way to go Rosemary! Lovely, wonderful, beautiful. Think you will get to attend Taos next year? Can't wait to see what you do then.

Rosemary said...

Thanks, Fleegle!

Sandy, I'd love to be able to go next year, but October always ends up really busy for us - I'll have to wait and see - I'd sure love to go. I need a year where you can enter fibers grown in California, so that I can enter something spun from YOUR fiber! And, thanks!


Traci said...

What a great thing! I had a friend who went to Taos! Was so jealous!

Marcy said...

Congratulations! Your yarns are so beautiful. I'm glad you're blogging again. There's only so many times I can look at your archives.

Penny said...

mazel tov! i've just started plying on the fly w her technique and it's wonderful. though my handspun looks nothing like yours, i'm definitely beginner. congrats!

Rosemary said...

Thanks, everyone, for such nice comments! Penny, I'm happy that you like Ply on the fly - it's my most favorite method ever. You'll get better at it - just stick with it. Marcy, thanks! I had no idea that anyone ever looked at my archives, lol. Thanks! Rosemary

Jody said...

I luv to make handknit socks from my 3 ply alpaca blends...they are super soft and durable.
Your yarns are absolutely lovely..I can see why you won!