Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Alpaca's are coming! The Alpaca's are coming!

Last post I shared how blessed I was to have a husband who took me to Kentucky to visit The Woolery and there purchased 5 pounds of raw Tunis sheep wool! 

The tedious work of cleaning, and clearing VM from the fleece and going back a second time to clear more VM was driving me crazy! I just wanted to be finished with it! So what did I do to ease my frustration? Quit? By means no!... I went and bought 5 huge bags of RAW Alpaca wool! What can I say, I love challenges in what i'm passionate about! 

What happened was I was reading my Bible one morning and just soaking in the presence of my God when I looked down at all the tunis wool that was halfway done with being cleared of all the VM I can possibly do by hand and just prayed, "Lord, I desire greatly to blend this wool with something like alpaca to add some strength and elasticity to it.", because alpaca wool would give it strength and elasticity and extra softness! But because of finances, there was no way I can purchase alpaca wool. 

That evening a sweet friend from our church group told me that she saw on craigslist a lady selling raw alpaca fleece. 

Immediately I went online and saw the wool in big bags and thought, "surely, it will be quite expensive per bag!", but she was selling each bag for $10!!!!! It was from her own alpaca she sheared herself!

 After talking with my husband he said, "yes" to purchasing all of them. We went to their beautiful home and had $60 in 20's meaning we needed $10 in change. no one had that change so she said, "Eh, it's no big deal. you can take them for $40."! Praise God!!!

So on the top photo you see our Sadie Girl posing with my bounty! She's giving me a look that says, "First the Tunis wool, now this alpaca... hmmm, am I next? You may need an intervention, woman." Ha Ha!

Cleaning the alpaca was heavenly! First, alpaca doesn't have lanolin like sheep wool does, thus when you touch it you won't feel any grease at all, just very soft and dusty wool, because alpaca absolutely loves the dust!

So cleaning it was so FAST! Just had to spread the fleece out, pick out any VM (which is another thing I was blessed to have... an A Grade fleece! Meaning hardly to non VM) and take out short stample length and then begin the wash (same as I washed the tunis).

a decent sized stample length

Unlike the tunis, when it came to washing I was extremely confident! I first soaked the fleece for 30 min. in the washer, then drained, then soaked with Dawn soap for another 30 min. Then I drained and soaked to get all the soap off for another 30. then spun and let out to dry. Because it has been so cold and cloudy, the drying took a lot longer which gave me time to pick VM from the remainder of my tunis! Next post will be blending both together! 

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