I just received a lovely surprise in the mail today. It was a spindle from Spinsanity.
I had made a post on a Ravelry discussion board that I didn't have the best luck with my spindles holding up, because I keep dropping them on the ground. And Shannon from Spinsanity sent me a Ravelry message offering me a new spindle (with extra glue to hold the whorl on)!
I can't recommend Spinsanity enough. Their spindles are beautiful, reasonably priced, and those little keychain ones are downright adorable. They sell fiber too. And who can argue with that kind of customer service, offering me a new spindle without my even asking? Please check them out.
Once I've spun through the sample fiber you can see on the spindle (I'm not sure what it is - something soft and slick. Might be bamboo?), I'll start working on the bags of alpaca fiber I got from Columbus' Alpacafest last year. I got over a pound of the stuff wandering around the different booths, from Windy Lane Farm and Rodger's Reserve Alpaca Farm (large amounts of suri alpaca in bags for $4 each!). I'm going to take the 6 oz of deep brown suri that I have and hopefully spin it into a shawl. I like the Ethereal fichu (Rav page). It's beautiful, and it's knit from the point up so I can use as little yardage as I may have.
I also got some blocking wires in the mail (I got a Jo-Ann giftcard for Christmas, plue a 40% off coupon = great deal). Inside a comically large box (you should have seen me trying to bring it up to my room) was a tube containing a yardstick, a whole bunch of long stiff wires, a couple flexible ones, and a bag of rustproof pins.
So, I blocked my Swallowtail again, which was in dire need of a re-blocking after spending a couple unfortunate days caught in the rain (Ah, England). A disaster has also befallen my shawl. The cat, you see... well...
I fixed it up as best I could. I'm no expert at darning, and I didn't even attempt to preserve the lace pattern. I only tried to save the stitches from laddering down and away into oblivion. This, I think I accomplished. Only time will tell, I suppose.