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Beautiful flowers - beautiful yarn! I always love your garden. Sorry about all the rain.


Oh my GOSH, is that Rambo/alpaca fiber gorgeous. Your spinning in that little piece is PERFECT. You will be so pleased with the finished garment. I still positively live in my Plain Vanilla. It's plain, to be sure, but it is so comfortable and comforting, and it's wearing like iron, with very minimal pilling. I couldn't be happier and want more like it.


Now that's some yarn! What a lovely blend.

And you know how I feel about true black alpaca. It's not to be resisted.


The box does look like it's ready to explode. What a lovely explosion that would be...fiber, fiber everywhere....oh wait, sounds like that has already happened!


You sound so very happy -- with all your new toys, your always-new garden, and your happy, healthy, safe family.
Have a wonderful time with all of them.


I'm in love with Midnight Thunder. *sends little kisses*


I got a bit over excited when I saw that box. I thought maybe it was "ours" even though I knew it was way too early!
And the pink peony is stunning. I have only white and need to add some colored ones to my garden.

lisa Co.  Springs

What a box full 'o joy that was!!!

What you NEED, dear heart, is a cedar lined closet, with cedar shelves and clear bins for the fiber.

Laura J

No tree peony blooms for me this year. The one I planted last year is being consumed by poison ivy (a vicious standoff among poison ivy, bittersweet, milkweed, and goldenrod -- I plan to evacuate it in the autumn) and the one I just planted, would be expecting too much. I LOVE treee peopnies. And herbaceous peonies; mine are enough later than yours that they just started.

MR. Macon and I say hiiiiiiii.....


It does my heart good to see you fall so hard.

Yippee. Yippee for the no surgery too.


I like the alpaca with the Rambo -- it looks like it gives it a little oomph. Did you have to visibly restrain yourself in the company of all that alpaca?!? :-)


First comes fleece lust. Then the plea for bin advice.

Predictable like the laws of physics.



I read all of this and tried to imagine you in the midst of the alpaca fleeces.... what happened that you didn't embarass yourself? I could just imagine you moaning. Or possibly drooling.

In a self-possessed, Laurie kind of way. Of course. ;-)


Doncha just LOVE those little faces...with those killer topnots?! My peonies bloomed while I was in New Hampshire..and then they drowned. As for storage, Judith MacKenzie says to pack your fleeces into those big Home Depot buckets with lids...really stomp them down to expel all the air. Tape a lock to the top. Or, you could get those clear plastic stacking things at Costco.

Caroline M

Alpaca doesn't count, not really. (I'm still working on why that is so don't question me too much on that) I have 2lb of suri alpaca and I was carrying around a ringlet for a week or so just because I couldn't get over how anything could have ringlets that cute. When I turned it red I left one out in the kitchen so I could chuckle over it every time I saw it. I've had so much enjoyment out of that fibre and I haven't even spun it yet (well only a little bit)

There you go then - alpaca doesn't count because it's good for your mental health.


Oh goodness look at all that fleece!
I have only just been bitten by the spinning bug. I have a hard enough time hiding my yarn stash from DH, a fibre stash is going to be next to impossible:-)
I've only been spinning 2 weeks and already I have 4 lots of roving waiting in the wings- and I haven't even considered alpaca yet....

Lucy at Mind's Eye

Oh, there's nothing like the big box o' roving. It just makes the heart sing!

Lee Ann

Oh god, real black alpaca. Not dyed. So envious...

What's it take to process an alpaca fleece? :-) (because, you know, I'm just asking for posterity. Curiosity, really. Not out of any genuine interest or anything...cough cough...)


I'm slow but I get here.

Rubbermaid makes a bronze colored bin impregnated with cedar. If I had your basement, I get those.

Of course, if I had your basement I'd already have installed an industrial sink with stainless steel wool sorting surface, and turned part of it into a sunny wool storage/fiber work room.

But that's just me.

I do not believe for one minute you fully controlled yourself around the alpacas.

And the peonies are (well, were) so beautiful I can't even stand it.


I have been completely pleased (and I'm picky!) with the blends done by Wooly Knob. They did a wool/silk blend for me that was perfection. Wonderful service!

I would expect the effect of the alpaca in the blend to be more notable in the resulting hand of the finished garment. Rambouillet tends to be squishy and springy and a tad limp. I know those words don't make sense together, but if you spin and knit a lot of Rambouillet, you'll know what I mean.

The alpaca should lend some grace and a bit of, no stiffness, um, a linear aspect to the drape? More presence? (Yes, I need coffee, sorry.) A woven skirt made of the R/A should sway, while a pure R skirt will hug and be just shy of drooping, but in a nice way.

Bins. I wrote an article about fleece storage for Spin-Off a LONG time ago, I think under my maiden name? I have fiber that was stored 20+ years before it came to me and has spent 20+ years in my stash, things like samples of Iranian cashmere, grades of silk that are hard to find now, etc.

I've had moths a few times, have washed or dyed the entire stash, and moved forward. Both times the moths were from contaminated fleeces that were brought to me. I instituted a quarantine process after that!

The Rubbermaid bins I have are relatively flexible, dark purple or blue, and pretty strong. There is a large amount of surface area in the snap-to join of the lid to the bin. There are NOT holes large enough for mice, but the bins are not airtight. They stack, they are stable in a rather high stack in a storage unit, and if the temperature is above freezing and they are kept out of direct sun, the bins are durable. These are the only bins I've found that survive being dropped from the barn loft...

Sterlite makes a sturdy opaque white plastic bin that has a more shallow lid, air holes around the handles (I haven't had mice go through them, yet), but they are not as durable as the Rubbermaid bins. They stack pretty well on top of each other, and they are more flat than the Rubbermaid bins so they'll accept other things stacked on top of them better. They are pretty tough but will shatter from a hard impact.

I have some smaller decent stacking semi-clear plastic bins from the Container Store. They are not as durable as the R or S bins, but they have cleaner interior lines and work okay for yarn or small amounts of fiber.

I prefer containers that don't let in light. I store raw fleece in brown paper grocery bags in the bins, clean fiber in cotton pillow cases in the bins. I unveil and air the stash a few times a year, inspect for bugs, and change the paper bags if needed.

If your stash is going to freeze, use heavy cardboard boxes instead of plastic bins. Lynne Baker stored her prize Romney fleeces in large cardboard drums with tightly fitted clamping lids, an excellent system, especially if you have a barn full of wool.

Oh, ziplocs work well for CLEAN, totally dry, non-silk fiber. If there is any moisture content, check for sweating. If it's silk, store it in something that will breathe so you don't end up with clotting. If your fiber storage area gets hot, use inner bags that breathe and choose bins with vented lids. It is amazing how easy it is to felt something by forgetting it in a plastic bag in a hot attic...

And keep in mind that if you seal moths or moth eggs in with your fiber, life will become interesting. --off to find coffee--


Whatever you do, do not get drawers. I find that drawers as a container for growing storage needs (stash, clothes, pointeshoes, ...) always end up overful and impossible to open. I find this to be particularly true with the plastic stacking drawers that seem like they should be such perfect storage devices (I have lots in various sizes because when I first moved away from home they were my mom's answer to the need for a dresser).

I have preferred rubbermaid products over all of my other plastic storage products. I would double check the closures to see how it will affect fiber that accidentally gets stuck there.


True black cria fleece? Damn. Would you be willing to sell a few ounces? (And it's totally OK if you're not.)

I agree with most everything Sylvia wrote above, but I prefer things to be in transparent containers. When my stash got to embarrassingly large proportions, I needed to see what's in the closet at a glance. (I don't put mini-lists on the front of each container, I don't have a database, etc.) Ruching around opaque bins (I have a couple, still) is fun b/c you discover things you forgot you had, but it's not time-efficient for me. Most recently, I've been buying some of those GIANT ziploc bags.

Beth S.

Oh, peonies, peonies, beautiful peonies! I could have just peonies, lilacs, and those lovely stripey tulips of Norma's and call it a day. It would be enough. :-)

Can I ask--and this is an Annoying Novice Question--how you spin and ply such a teeny skein on the wheel? Do you spin just a little on one bobbin, just a little on another bobbin, and ply them together? Or is there a way you can spin a bit on one bobbin and somehow ply it to itself, like you can on a spindle?


In my stash closest - on the shelf are 3 high moving cardboard boxes with roving bags inside. I write on the outside what is supposed to be enclosed. I think there are 15 or 18 boxes on the shelf. Stacked on the floor of the closet are 33 gallon rubbermaid tubs with cedar shaving packets in each. I have 4 of those + several larger cardboard boxes of roving. I also have the clear sterlite containers for small amounts of this and that fiber. I remember what I have in the stash except when Anne is here and then I can't remember anything.

Love the black cria fleece. I knew June would be drooling for that. Alpaca farms are nothing but trouble, I tell ya. They should have a big Beware sign in front of them.

Wish you were here this weekend.

julia fc

What BeadLizard said.
Your peonies were magnificent. I have festiva maxima and unnamed single white in bloom at the moment. The rain stomped the poppies here too, but I have my gratification in the roses. AH, the roses!

Dorothy B

Ah, the brass marching band came out to play and the strings just couldn't hold up under the blaring, eh? Poor things. Here's hoping they can recover a little and still sound as beautiful as before.

Got bit by the Alpaca bug did you? Lucky woman!

I'd go for the Rubbermaid bins myself. They aren't crazy expensive and can stand up to 6 moves, 1 dog, 2 cats and 1 child learning to climb and jump up on things. My baby clothes are in a big one out in the shed and let me tell you, winters here are bloody cold and summers frickin' hot. I just checked on them the other day after spending their first full year out there. No bugs, (this is one buggy province) no mold or mildew and no funky smells.


Sigh, isn't rambouillet just dreamy? I have a rambo/angora mix roving I'm working on. As for fiber storage, I use 5 gal. green pickle buckets with lids that I get from my local diner. I got the idea from Judith McKenzie, she says she can get 5 Shetland fleeces into one bucket and by packing them in there's no room for oxygen and they stay fresh for a long time. I dont' know how she gets 5 in, I can only get 2.


Quarantine, Costco bins, and a room of one's own. Other than that? What Juno said.


I've gotten all my Sterlite containers at Big Lots for insanely cheap. They've worked for now, though I'm about to go through another stash reorg/repacking and they may not suffice any longer.


Alpacas always look not quite real to me, creatures somehow sprung from Dr. Seuss's imagination into reality. And their fleece. Well. Just don't let me too near your stash is all I can say.

If you figure out how to contain/organize your fiber stash, for heaven's sake let me know.


I use the clear bins and the rubbermaid bins. It looks like a bin store in my basement. I'm always looking for new ideas on arranging the stash. I should say the ever growing stash. :)


I know I'm a little late to the party, but I just wanted to say that I'm thrilled to hear the good news about your husband's injury.

I'm sorry I wasn't able to actively participate in the actual knitting of the bone, but I was thinking of you and your husband, and cheering on the team from a very busy sideline. ::I kind of had to check out of the internet for awhile and am just finding my way back.::

I also wanted to say I was rather intrigued by the picture of the "bone" and the wine bottle. hmmm. Hope it's all down hill from here. In a good way.


Love the stuff the guys from Wooly Knob process for me too. And they're pretty willing to try anything that I can dream up as far as blends go.

Storage - I really like those transparent bins that Target sells with the lid that locks down at the handles. They have the added bonus of being very stackable because the the bottom of the box has an indent that corresponds to the the bump on the lid. I generally use the next to the largest size for fiber type storage. They stack nicely about 4 high in the average room. And you can see through them to at least have a shot of grabbing the right one first time. One of the smaller sizes also works great for individual projects.

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