Monday, July 9, 2007

What's in a llama?

Better question: What's on a llama? A trashbag full of hair! (I read here that llamas produce hair, not wool. So now you know.)

I hit the jackpot again with Freecycle. Someone advertised a trash bag of llama roving, and I zipped a "Me! Me! Oh, pick me!" email back to her. She did, and I had to go through a metal detector and endure someone poking through my wallet--filled with more punch cards than cash--at City Hall so I could pick up the bag during her work day. On the ride up in the elevator, I was tingling with anticipation about owning REAL FIBER, unspun and undyed. My first opportunity to be a real yarn snob, so I could say someday, "What, this old sweater? Oh, yeah, I hand-spun, hand-painted, and hand knit all this myself AGES ago."

Well...(insert some ironic chuckling here)... Turns out the bag is not filled with roving but pre-roving. Raw, shorn hair, twigs and leaves included. Ah, viva la difference. This is going to mean some work, methinks. This is going to mean I can be elevated from yarn snob to yarn veteran. "I cleaned and carded the fiber, too!"

Now I just have to learn how to do it. Any suggestions?


  1. Good luck with all that! I am so curious to see alpaca fiber. I remember having a little class in 6th grade where we carded wool and then used a drop spindle to spin some of it. Lot's of fun!

  2. How exciting! I am looking forward to that one day too. I am starting a bit backwards LOL I just was given a Floor Loom! Now I have to figure out how it works... any ideas???
    Time to peruse the CraigsList...

  3. A floor loom... Uh, is that the kind that weaves parquet floor tiles??? Ok, stupid joke, but it illustrates that I have no idea how to use one. I think the only kinds of looms I've used are for knitting and the little plastic ones on which I wove those nylon bands into hot pads as a kid. You know, I think I even have one of those hot pads left in my grown-up kitchen. How cool is that.

  4. That is so funny - a friend of mine was just telling me that she missed getting a bag of llama roaving on freecycle and then I stumbled across your blog!

  5. I'm J. Denae's friend. I'm in the middle of moving, so I was kind of relieved when I was told it was taken. I hesitated to e-mail, because seriously, did I need to be moving a trash bag full of llama hair that I don't yet know how to spin? Now I can see what you do with it! LOL.

  6. You know, I'm never quite sure whether to reply to a comment here or on the commenter's blog. So, I've done both this time. Congrats on your move, Lara. I'm looking forward to working the with wads of llama hair, too. Don't know when or where, but it'll work itself out.

  7. Have you figured out how to process your Llama fleece yet? I am just learning how to work with alpaca (close cousin to llama) since my hubby and I purchased two pregnant girls this summer with their babies (crias) on the side. I have five bags of fleece with sticks and straw and poo and you name it I need to get pulled out before I can spin it up. I am a couple steps ahead of you, however, I have a spinning wheel and have been learning how to use it. I also have a drop spindle too (the more economical way to spin yarn). Once you clean, card, and batt your fleece you can spin it. Check out for a great video on using a drop spindle. If you need some assistance, let me know.

  8. I haven't learned anything new yet, except that my oldest cat likes to chew llama hair. (She clawed a hole in the kitchen trash bag holding the hair and was pulling little tufts of it out to chew on. I was, like, ohfurgoshsake.)

    Thanks for all the tips and the testimonial on what you've learned so far. I'll have to check out the youtube site. But that's a really dangerous website for those of us with ADHD.



Related Posts with Thumbnails