Keeping on Spinning

Today we aren’t going to talk about cancer or surgeries.  We aren’t even going to talk about chess.  We are going to talk about spinning.  Spinning is far better for my mental health than surgeries.


There has been a bag of guanaco on my hearth for months.   I’ve only got two ounces, but it’s such a short and fine fiber that two ounces goes a long way.  Guanaco fiber costs about 25 dollars an ounce, and I can spin about 4 grams in a half hour, if I pay attention to what I’m doing.  It ends up happiest as really skinny yarn, which takes forever to knit.  Therefore, I figure the net cost for spinning and knitting happiness is less than a dollar an hour.


I’ve never seen a guanaco in real life.  They’re related to alpacas, but their fiber is even skinnier than cashmere.  By law, cashmere needs to be mostly less than 19 microns in diameter, but the average guanaco fiber is only about 15 microns. 


I don’t remember where I got the photo of the live guanaco from, it’s been on my hard drive for a while.  But I do know where I got the fiber that I’m spinning right now, to get it off my bobbins to make room for the guanaco.


It’s a merino silk blend that I bought when I was at the knitting guild retreat in February.  It’s April already and I’m still spinning it.  I guess that tells you how much time I’ve been spending at the wheel lately.


Tonight I’m going to finish the multicolored part, then tomorrow I can spin some solid light blue and ply them together.  I have no idea what it’s going to be when it’s all done, but since I don’t know what the guanaco is going to be either, I guess that’s OK.


Thanks for all the love and encouragement since my last post.  Everything still seems rather daunting, but at least I’m not going through it alone.  I don’t know how people without family and friends manage to get through cancer treatment.  Oops.  Sorry.  Cancer discussion has to wait until tomorrow.  Sometimes it seems to be part of everything I think about.  Gotta work on that.

6 thoughts on “Keeping on Spinning

  1. Elizabeth, those colors are JUST BEAUTIFUL! I’m so glad that you still enjoy the whole process, even if you haven’t accomplished as much as you normally would. It’s there anytime you want to return to it. I continue to pray for you daily. Your challenges are many, but God is good to provide the strength and endurance you need. Have a blessed Easter.

  2. I am a friend of your mother’s from Kalamazoo. I also taught at St M’s. You and I met once when Sam (?) was about six weeks old (I think it was Sam – baby #3). Since reading your blogs, I have started to take a crocheting class and begun to explore those “creative interests” I have put on the back burner while I cleaned house instead> Thank you! One of my long term goals is to explore weaving. Prayers are with you – especially as you & George head to the OR.

  3. I agree with Edda, the colors you are spinning are beautiful! You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Enjoy Easter.

  4. Is there any “craft” you haven’t tried? Love the colors! Think I’ll ramble through my fiber “scraps” you gave me at the shop those many years ago!

    Enjoy your Easter and as always we’ll be thinking about you and sending lots of prayers your way!

    Lots of love!

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