This is my second foray into the more "exotic" yarns I bought at Belfast Mini Mill in PEI (the first was a bit of camel, came to only 20 yards when plied). Equal parts soy silk, alpaca and mohair. I figured this was a good candidate because the soy silk would probably have a longer staple. The other candidates are cashmere, cashmere/yak, quiviut/merino, quiviut/alpaca/merino, and more camel. Did I make a good choice?

I liked spinning this soy silk blend. It reminded me of some of the luscious silk/merino yarn I've knit with. It seemed to hold the twist more than some of the other fibers I've spun (I'm not sure of the lingo or how to explain...).

I went with a sort of DK/baby weight, didn't want to make it too thin. And I don't think I'll ply it, keep it a single like the other silk/merino yarns I've used. I really want to see it dyed up all pretty, either before or after spinning. But I'm not yet a dyer.

Has a nice sheen. I think I spun up almost half of the 2 oz I bought.

I really want a spinning wheel before tackling most of the other Mini Mill purchases because of the shorter staple. I don't want to be parking and inching along, 2 oz would feel like 2 miles at that rate...

Here it is on the spindle:

Soy Silk / Alpaca / Mohair on spindle

and here it is wound into skein form.

Winding into skeins

This is the same type of gizmo I used to wind all the yarn I've spun so far, and while on vacation. The only difference -- on vacation, it was filled with toiletries. You use what you have, right? :)

And the twisted up skein:

Soy Silk / Alpaca / Mohair

Isn't it purty?

In the last week I also spun up some Fleece Artist handdyed blue face leicester.

Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester, 2 ply

Talk about luscious! For a wool, I mean. :) I LOVE spinning handdyed fibers, keeps my interest going. Waiting to see what color comes next, wondering what it will pair up against when plied... and when two colors blend and you get the barber pole effect, it's mesmerizing. It's like having a cup of water and adding a drop of dye -- watching it swirl and wisp like a living expanding being. Only with spinning, the fun lasts a lot longer!

This was my second time using the Fleece Artist BFL and it was a lot of fun. I have one more "braid" of it left, in blues.

Also tried my hand at spinning from a silk hanky.

Handdyed Silk Hanky

Ouch! My poor fingers... :( Very tough to draft, and not easy to keep the diameter even. Makes some pretty yarn, though, and the spinning part is easy 'cuz the silk is so strong. Easy to attach new ends. Pre-drafting helped a lot and was easy to do without the fibers falling apart (the soy silk blend didn't take well to pre-drafting; in fact, I had to keep the bag in my lap so that no undue pressure split the roving).

Not bad for a newb, eh? :)