Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Sheared A Dog (and other firsts)

Yes, that's right. I sheared a dog. A cute little poodle named Jack. His mommy Carissa, better known as the proprietor of The Cupcake Factory, had been curious about using his furry coat for spinning. My contribution to the experiment was to offer my clipper set to the project.  Notice how springy and fluffy his "hair" is on top of his head. 

That is what he looked like all over until we did this:

Luckily, Jack's got plenty of fluff left to keep him warm and Carissa has plenty to experiment with as evidenced by the bag below.  

But the main reason I was there was to pick up the 3.7 pound Alpaca fleece that I purchased.  

It's a beautiful multi-colored fleece that I'm processing a few different ways (another first!).  I separated one pound each of the dark brown and the lighter "apricot" shade.  Those two pounds are going to Fantasy Fibers for professional, machine processing.  The remaining 1.7 pounds is going to be hand-processed by me - plenty to practice.  I've already done a little under 100 grams myself and I'm really happy with how it came out.  I got most of the guard hairs out and it has spun up really soft.  Yeah!

Speaking of Alpaca, I found some dyed Alpaca fiber in the most unlikely place....Cost Plus World Market!  I should admit it was the Incredible Digit Girl who first spotted it.  We were wandering through the store when my daughter said, "Look, Mommy, fiber!".  How cool is  my kid!    
What a deal!  I got ten different colors of hand-dyed alpaca for $12.99.  This was definitely the first time I found spinning fiber at a retail home decor store.  It may be a very temporary item, though.  I could not find it listed on their website to post a link :-( .

And, last but certainly not least, is my most exciting first.  The current issue of the KnitPicks catalog has two original designs by yours truly.  

The first is the Arrow Knee Sock which is a lace-y sock pattern in KnitPicks Gloss yarn which is a merino/silk blend that is very soft and has a lovely sheen.  

The second is the Dellarobbia Legwarmer in KnitPicks Swish DK yarn ... a soft and squishy merino yarn that I really enjoy using.   This pattern also has an optional foot section to make the legwarmer into a warm and comfortable knee sock.  Perfect for cold winter days.  

Many thanks to K & K (you know who you are) for giving me the opportunity to design these two patterns!!


Carissa said...

Congrats on your patterns! Fun times.

Thanks again for shearing Jack. He still has his 80's mullet (although I did trim it a little so it's not so crazy on top...shhh...don't tell Joe). He reminds me of the hallmark card commercial gut with big blend 80's rocker curly hair (minus the blond part). THe stuff I've spun so far makes really nice laceweight. I may even have enough for a small shawl / large scarf.

I wonder why they had fiber at world market? I'll have to go check that out.

Carissa said...

...wow. I can't type today. That previous comment was supposed to be "guy with big blond 80's rock hair"

Carissa said...

I went and picked me up some alpaca at World Market today. I walked all around and couldn't find it, so I asked a checker and she smiled and asked what I was going to do with it. She had been trying to figure out what in the world people were supposed to do the fluff in the boxes.

Kathleen said...

Oh, yay! I'm glad you found some of the alpaca at Cost Plus. I was surprised at how soft it is. Glad you like it!

msubulldog said...

Ooooh, I wonder if there's still fiber left at World Market. . . Great find! Who'd have thunk? :)

Melissa Barton said...

Ok. that Cost Plus thing is just trippy! Well trained children are their own reward!