Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Knitting with Kai Llama

You may recall, about seven months ago, I had my llama, Kai, sheared for the first time since she came to live at Critter Farm:
The shearer was a really awesome lady who did an impressive job:
 She sheared in such a way that Kai's fiber came off in two large sheets:
And, at the end of the day, that huge "rug" that Kai had been carrying around for two years, fit into an empty feed bag:
I played around with this fiber for days afterwards.  It was so soft.  This whole shearing process was completely new and totally fascinating to me:Kai looked so beautiful (and so young!) with her two years worth of fiber removed: But now that I had all this beautiful fiber, I had no idea what to do with it.  For fun, I offered it up on my blog and was surprised by all the responses I got.  Some of my blogging buddies actually wanted portions of it!  So, George the cat and I sat on my front porch one afternoon and packaged up baggies of it for everyone who wanted to experiment with it:
The majority of it, though, went to my blog friend, Clairz, over at The Zees Go West.  She is a spinner extraordinaire and wanted to spin some of Kai's fiber "rug" into yarn.  She even promised to send me a bit of it, but I was just so tickled she wanted some of Kai's fiber, I didn't really expect anything in return.  So, imagine my surprise when I received a box in the mail last week and found all of this beautiful Kai yarn inside (the smaller baggie also included some beautiful sheep's wool yarn and alpaca yarn for comparison):
Skein after beautiful skein of Kai yarn is now in my possession:
Hard to believe now that this was once the matted coat my llama wore:
You can read all about how Clairz turned that messy, debris-filled coat that Kai wore into this lovely yarn by clicking here:  "Spinning Kai"
This yarn is softer than you can possibly imagine and so gorgeous. Unbelievably, it still smells like Kai! The good smelling part of Kai, that is... :-):And, just so you know...my mom, who is a very passionate knitter, has been waiting (rather impatiently, I might add) for this yarn.  Here she is, grabbing up every single skein in sight.  Sadly, I didn't manage to capture the ecstatic look in her eye:
My mom put my youngest son, Aidan, immediately to work:
 And she couldn't wait to get those knitting needles working:
 If there's enough yarn, Aidan and I will both get hats:
And then Aidan and I will wear Kai llama on our heads:
I think Kai would like this, don't you?


28 comments:

And This Little Pig said...

Kai yarn looks divine. So are we going to have to wait another 2 years for more? Love the piccies.
LiBBiE in Oz

Mike said...

maybe Kai will shave you and wear you as a hat. lol. Amazing how a spinning wheel turns a mat into yarn.

LindaG said...

I think Kai will be quite impressed.
Just look at all that yarn. Wow! Your friend is a wonder. :-)

clairz said...

This is very exciting! I've been waiting to see what the Kai yarn looks like, all knitted up. I am looking forward to the next installment!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is so cool. i loved seeing the entire process especially because i have a basket of wool and a drop spindle sitting upstairs staring at me. now i have instructions. i haven't bought a wheel yet but i really want one. kai will look fabulous on your heads. and fyi..people spin chow chows too!!!

John said...

Wow! Was the yarn dyed at all, or is that its natural color? I wish I could feel how soft it is.

Anne Boleyn said...

That is BEYOND cool!

Christine said...

I am envious! I have a large bag of llama fiber that I need to get busy and do something with. I wonder if Kai will smell your hat and wonder what is going on when you wear it?

Pattie Wall said...

It's so cool to see the BIG picture of shearing make it all the way to knitting the spun yarn. Hope you know how to knit, even a little. My mom taught knitting and taught me enough to make a few simple things, it's a good winter activity, especially if there seems to be too much football on TV.
Hope to see those finished hats, then the circle will be complete.

Zitrone said...

What a true gift Kai Llama gave us! And what an artist Clairz is! Thanks also to her "support group" who cheered her on during the process of making Kai fur even more beautiful.
But what happened to Kai in the last photo? You mean all this lovely debris has been spun into the wool you are about to be wearing on your head?
Anyhow, Kai is the most beautiful llama girl I've ever seen and I am extremely partial to her. (Well, actually I love her.)

Linda in New Mexico said...

Your Mom has beautiful hands. The picture of the hands is such a special one. I know you will cherish the creation made with love all the way around, from Kai to all those that facilitate it in the making and finally in the wearing of beautiful Kai wool hat.

Carol in Colorado said...

Kai's yarn is a lovely shade of rusty brown. I want to sink my hands into all of it but I guess I have to do it virtually. I hope you Mom is having a wonderful time working with it. Kai will probably wonder why your head smells like her. Enjoy!!

pilgrimscottage said...

I don't know about Kai, but the donkeys looked pretty impressed! Must have felt good to feel half naked for a while, though. Nice you can have your own yarn from a gorgeous creature.

Karen Anne said...

That's beautiful yarn.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I'll be anxiously waiting to see the hats. What a beautiful gift Kai has shared with you and Clairz. The yarn is such a pretty color too.

drypond said...

Loved the post, The yarn is beautiful.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Such beautiful yarn and how wonderful that your mother is a knitter! I think Kai will be thrilled!!

Marigold said...

The Goatmother has been saving our cashmere for 2 years now. Maybe you have inspired her to finally DO something with it! Kai's fiber is too beautiful. I wonder what Roxy yarn would look like? :)

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Your Yarn looks beautiful! Love the color! I have 4 years worth of fur from my Portie (has poodle like hair)and after this spring, I'll take it to an alpaka fiber shop to be washed and made into yarn! Can't wait:-}}}

JaneK said...

waaaay cool! and that last pic with Kai gave me a huge smile!

Paula said...

Ach! I feel so guilty! I put Kai llama's rug away for the day when I make a drop spindle and try to learn how to spin. And- I even know where that package is. But I haven't gotten there yet, and it will probably be a long time before i do.

But something cool happened while I was at my in-law's in Phoenix last month. Out of the blue, Steve's mother offered me the antique spinning wheel that's been in her family for a very long time, and I said yes! I'd love it but I don't have room for it right now. But I will come get it!

Dreaming said...

What a great post. I loved seeing everything.. almost to the finish. Seeing the hats will bring the story around full circle. Hooray for Kai and her beautiful fleece!

goatgirl said...

What beautiful yarn Kai has made. I am inspired to knit with my own llama yarn. Do you knit? If not you better learn! So relaxing.

Betsey said...

Ok, I'm confused. That is your youngest son? Were you a child bride?

What an exciting transition from fuzzy to silky yarn. I can't wait to see the finished product!

Stevie said...

That is great! I am just starting to experiment with fiber sheep and can't think of anything better than having my favorite animal contribute to a nice warm hat or mittens :)
Stevie @ www.ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

Morning Bray Farm said...

Definitely. How amazing and how beautiful, Danni!

georgie said...

I made a drop spindle a few months ago per a website which didn't give very thorough explanations. The cuphook was on the wrong end and the way they fastened the leader was very vague. Just now I looked at Clairz blog and a video re: spindle and learned oodles. Maybe now the lovely bit of Kai's hair that you gave me can become yarn!

Sarah said...

oh so very neat! Can't wait to see the Kai hat(s)! It is truly beautiful yarn. What a neat experience.