I've been wanting to combine some of Silverton's gray/silver alpaca fleece with some purple Merino for a while, thinking that it sounded like a good idea. So I threw some superfine Merino that I've had in the dye pot last weekend with purple dye, and then let it dry. As a quick test, I hand-carded a small sample of it in a 50/50 blend with some of Silverton's alpaca fleece, and then spun it on my low-whorl drop spindle in a weight that would be roughly fingering weight when plied as a 2-ply yarn. 

I knew that I wanted the resulting yarn to be lofty and soft, and while part of the feel I was going for would come from spinning the actual fiber, some of it was going to come from the finishing process. So after spinning my single rolag, I Andean-plied it (an Andean plying bracelet is a special loop on the wrist, shown below, that allows you to ply a single yarn from both ends, using all of the single with no waste) on the same drop spindle that I spun it on, and then washed it. I fulled it a bit in the wash basin, mushing it around in the hot water, but not too much so that it would felt. When I dried it, I roughed it up a bit with the towel to achieve the same effect.

The resulting yarn is beautifully soft and lofty, and I love the color. You can see the difference in look and feel between the freshly-plied yarn below (the first plied yarn picture) and the washed and fulled yarn afterwards. The actual feel is quite different, and exactly what I want. So I know now that I want to go ahead and make this yarn, instead carding full batts on my drum carder in a 50/50 alpaca/merino blend. 

I don't know what I'll do with the resulting yarn yet...it may be one that I save for myself, or it may be one that I sell in the shop

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