Sunday, April 19, 2015

Andrew's creations!

As part of the start-up of our mill, we have sent Andrew to train in America with one of their top mills, Lynn from Olympic Yarn and Fibre. He has learnt so much and part of what worked through whilst he was there was some of Lynn's alpaca fibre as a bit of a test! This is what he created!

Alpaca fibre has such beautiful colours and blending the fleece from a few alpacas can create something really unique. When choosing the colours to use for my training here I thought it would be interesting to capture the change as the fleece was blended through the process. So here is the starting point, some brown, black and white huacaya alpaca fleece blended with a little suri grey, lets see what it creates!

Fleece on sorting table waiting to be processed
Into the opener

From some brown, black and white with a little Suri grey, you can see the stages of blending ready to go through the carder for the first pass.
First stage roving/sliver after carder

Rovings from the carder ready for the pin drafter. The pin drafter takes 4 slivers and combines them as well as a drawing it out for the first draft. This will "average" out the sliver and will both continue to blend the colours and reduce the imperfections.
Stacks of rovings/slivers ready for the spinner below!

Second stage roving after pin drafter
The sliver/roving is then fed into the spinner.

Rovings/sliver going into spinner
Plyed yarn still on the bobin.

Yarn 1 - Andrew 0!
Here's a picture of me hand winding back to the bobin from a skein after I managed not to completely close the gates and had a run of slightly short skeins... argh!!

The final product, simply gorgeous!
On skeins!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Craziness in abundance here!

Sliver produced from the blending, isn't it just gorgeous!
Its crazy here at Adagio headquarters! My dining table is officially sinking under paperwork and James has kindly painted a few important documents. Ah well, I had to laugh when he proudly came and showed me, my fault for leaving the room for a few moments!

Andrew is currently in America, training in one of the top small scale mills there, Olympic Yarn and Fiber. He is learning so much and has been putting together a story about the yarn he has processed there. It has been posted as a few chapters on our facebook page but I think I'll try to condense it into a story here in a few days time. The slivers he has been producing look amazing!

Blending of alpaca fibre into carder

I had one of those days the other day. I couldn't talk about it at the time but lets just say it involved chasing sheep around the paddock for 1.5hrs (and not getting them where I wanted them!), a sick baby who just wanted hugs and the loss of car keys for about half an hour which was just long enough for me to panic as to how I was going to collect James from preschool. Not to mention the few adagio disasters averted! Lets just say there wasn't enough chocolate in the house to make up for it that evening.

We have confirmation that our milling equipment should arrive in the country on the 3rd of May so I'm really hoping it will clear customs quickly and be on our doorstep early May. To be counting its arrival in days rather than months is equally exciting and scary. So much to do and so little time. I'm getting a very good lesson in working on what I can and not worrying about the rest! 

Follow-a-fleece new candidate Smokey Dawson!
Our lease on our premises officially starts on 4th May however we negotiated early access for planning purposes so we will get the keys this Monday. Our kickstarter campaign has gone quiet for the last week or so but I'll have to restart the conversation early next week as we have only 9 days left to go. In celebration of making our minimum target we added two additional follow-a-fleece candidates Smokey Dawson (pictured) and Kali (a young black female).

For anyone in the neighbourhood, we will be at the Royal Bathurst show this Sunday, we are sponsoring our first show! 5kg processing vouchers will go to the Champion Huacaya Alpaca, Champion Suri Alpaca and the first placed Huacaya fleece. Hope to see you there!

Oh and I love this rain we are having, so thankful! If only I had known that all I had to do to get it to rain was for my dryer to break and to buy feed for the stock... I would have arranged that months ago!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Adagio in the news!

Its really exciting, we're in the news!

I'm enjoying our project coming to life and news articles are just one way its gaining momentum. I feel like a kid who had their photo in the paper!

We've had articles in the Central West Daily but I really love the one in the Dubbo Weekender! Kim Goldsmith (@kvgoldsmith) came to our place and interviewed me. She was lovely and has written a great story!

Dubbo weekender article here.
CWD article here.