It's nice every once in a while to try something outside of your comfort zone. An obvious thing I've done recently, of course, is spinning on the wheel. But I've done a few other spinning projects that have been a bit different than normal, and I totally love the results.
First of all, remember that suri alpaca? I actually got two bags of roving from the same farm: one in brown, one in white. The brown is dedicated to that lace shawl, which is my normal mode of spinning: lots of twist, making sure the yarn doesn't fall apart, pinched, smooth, shiny, plying back really hard to counteract all that twist.
So, for the white bag I wanted to try something different.
I put in as little twist as I possibly could to this yarn, to keep it together. I also spun it a little thicker (somewhere between lace and fingering, as opposed to my cobweb weight singles for the laceweight) to make it easier to spin looser. The results were just titillating.
Fluffy, fuzzy, soft... Did I mention fluffy? It was like a mohair yarn, light as a feather, a halo as big as itself. Some of this fluffy gorgeousness got lost in the finishing process... my usual wash-and whack, so I tried something different again: Instead of whacking, I snapped it between my wrists, and instead of just hanging dry, I rubbed it mostly dry with a towel, to release that fuzz again.
It's beautiful, and I'm really, utterly pleased with it. It's only 56 yards, so I'm going to have to spin more of it. But I look forward to it.
Another successful experiment:
Regrettably, it doesn't show up well in photos... But I've always wanted to try beaded yarn. And this came out just BEAUTIFUL. I took my big bag of grey alpaca, and spun some sportweight-ish singles on it. Then I took some leftover laceweight scraps, and threaded some Japanese seed beads onto it (pre-emptive leftovers from my shawl... I need 100 beads, I bought 1000. Ack!). I plied 2 plies of the alpaca and 1 of the beaded laceweight, and voila! Absolute, total gorgeousity. If it doesn't sell, then I'm knitting with it myself. I'm dying to know how it knits up.
So the lesson here is this: Try new things! Cause they could come out awesome.