How does Ontario’s own Stone Spindle Farm do alpaca? The short answer is: superbly.
In order of my growing admiration since 2021: full marks for the farm’s name; Beth’s warm Instagram account; the raw locks; the rolags & finally, the mill-prepped alpaca top.
The raw locks
They had me at featuring spindles in a farm name: instant follow! The farm is located in Tamworth, Ontario. It is around 3 hours east of us by car, and is one that I would visit if we could. These have been smooth online transactions.
Annie’s Grade 1 locks were my answer to easing all that irked last year (a lot). I rarely will buy locks unseen but this was a persuasive listing.
When the box arrived, I was blown away. They are beautiful raw (unwashed). I had one look & knew they were fit for combing. The waste is minimal & it spins up beautifully.
As we hit cold weather, I reached for my waist distaff. Dry furnace heat + long sleeves had the alpaca wisping where I did not want it to wisp!
Looking back, I think that this is what took an already labour intense process a bit too far as I went into a difficult winter.
The plied yarn weighs 35 g, and is finished now. It is balanced lace-weight yarn.
All combing came to a halt as I needed to get wool safe from case-making clothes moths.
This summer, I traced back my steps & found little spots of wool were moth-eaten. The biggest of these mistakes was leaving Melvin’s knitted bed in the dark of a carrying case. It was a total loss but easy to ditch in that state!
The rolags: 12 Days of Ontario Fibre box
Last fall, I joined my first fibre box. The 12th bag is Beth’s fibre from Gigi vastly improved by her hand.
Each colour blended into the batt by handcarding is a different natural dye. The colours are:
- orange = Munjeet;
- yellow = Kamala; and
- pink = Lac
I appreciated the care that went into this plan. It was a pleasure to spin on my Wee Peggy – both times – I bought a second box!
From left is the 48 yards of this alpaca; Gotland 20 yards chain-plied from All Sorts Acres; Blue Faced Leicester 41 yards from Birchgrove Farms. These were all participants in the fibre box. The green fibre is also Blue Faced Leicester from another Ontario producer that I had just combed & spun up.
Full circle to Alpaca Top
This morning’s spin is part of the 300 g of Grade 2 top that I recently got from this same producer, Stone Spindle Farm.
The wheel is set-up in double drive tension with a seine twine band. The fibre itself is so, so soft with small bits of VM that are easily picked out.
The first 129g is around 303 yards, and it is urging me onward.
In my years of grabbing fibre from local Alpaca producers, I think these 3 examples stand out. Coming from a single family farm is truly impressive. This is not easy work!
The box that I mentioned is currently sold out. If more become available you can find them here. The organizer, Twin Oaks Farm, is active on Instagram & also has a newsletter.