When I first started spinning about 10 years ago I started with a pound of Romney roving. I randomly bought fiber at local festivals and from online vendors like Paradise Fibers. There was no rhyme or reason to my purchases other than I liked natural colors. For the most part I didn't keep track of what kind of fiber it was or where I purchased it from. Then I had a baby & lost interest in spinning. I call all of this fiber my old stash and it lives happily in a bin in my closet.
Fast forward to about nine months ago when I decided to take a plying class. This re-energized my spinning interest (obviously since most of my posts now are about spinning) and I began to buy lots of new fibers. All were meticulously tracked in Ravelry as I purchased them and all are dyed in great colors. This is my new stash and it lives in it's own separate bin in my closet right next to the old stash bin.
New stash is starting to run out of room so I decided to tackle my old stash. I had been saving some of it until I was a better spinner but how am I ever going to learn if I don't try new types of fibers? Life is too short to wait to spin the nice stuff. I started with Mystery Stash #1 (as it's labeled in Ravelry) and it's the only one with any dyed fibers in it:
It's 4 ounces of each color and I think I purchased it at the Jefferson County Fiber Festival near Watertown, NY (I think it was a 1 or 2 year thing only - best guess is I was there in 2008-ish). I originally thought it was wool but after spinning the first ball of fiber I'm leaning towards some kind of alpaca blend. I'm no expert though. The fibers are long but don't have the hairy quality that I would normally expect to see in alpaca. I know I should do the burn test on these fibers but it's cold outside and I don't feel like stinking up the house with burnt fiber. Even with the burn test I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between wool and alpaca. I'm ok with that. It's not like I'm selling my finished yarn so we can go with a best guess.
I started with the grey and finished it up in two nights. It was super soft and I was trying to go for a worsted weight yarn (it's really hard for me to spin thick yarns now). I ended up with 213 yards of DK weight yarn:
It's beautiful and soft and evenly spun. This is probably the best hank of yarn I've ever done. I just want to squish it and hold it to my neck all day.
I've already got the blue bump spun up and it will be plied tonight. That one didn't spin up as nicely as the grey. Maybe the dye did something to the fibers? It just fought me the whole way. I tried to spin it the same way as the grey but it just didn't want to. This is my inexperience coming through but I'm not going to let it stop me. I'm going to take detailed notes and hopefully learn something from it for next time.
I love how the 4 colors look together so my initial thought is to make color-work mittens out of the final 4 yarns. A couple pairs would be so soft against the skin and warm as well.