Author Ashley Ludwig's Recession Home

From sweet to romantic suspense, join me as I craft my happily ever after…

Spinning a Summer of Fun with Alpaca Fleece and Fiber

Yesterday we made a trip to

One of my daughters has always dreamed of being a farmer. My other daughter has designs on trying everything this world has to offer, at least once! The perfect combination for a busy summer day.

We’ve seen the alpacas many times before. We’ve fed them, tried our hand at carding fleece into roving. And I not so secretly have requested that my farmer daughter have an alpaca for me to play with in my retirement years!

But yesterday was one of those special magical sorts of days. The breeze blew through Cottonwood trees overhead, we had the joy of sweeping hands over a brand-new, baby alpaca cria… Watched them line up for a good spray off, and nap in the sun.

And I feel I made a friend in owner, Beth, who had watched my little ones–specifically E, grow into a bright, curious young lady.

On our way out she let us grab a handful of fleece fiber To take home but I bet even not Even miss Beth could’ve guessed what happened next.

E came home, dog-on-a-bone, wanting to turn that ball of fleece into yarn.

Now I’m not one to tell her no, about something she’s so curious about. But have I ever done this? no. Do I have the first clue to start this project? absolutely not.

Those of you who know me know I’m trained as an archaeologist. I’ve had the pleasure of digging up spindle whorls made from broken pots, rocks, and lumps of clay.

I know it’s possible to do this, and thank heaven for YouTube! we found a wonderful video that showed her exactly what she needed, and how to use a drop spindle.

i went to my store of craft items, and off we went to begin our adventure!

Now, she’s addicted to spinning yarn. I see this as an opportunity for taking “something I learned in minecraft into the real world!” (Her words)

That’s enough to make this mama eat to run out and buy an alpaca of our own!

Okay. Maybe not quite yet. Perhaps we’ll settle for a REAL spindle whorl and some ready made roving… Like we found at this Etsy store of the week!

This is a spindle whorl and a small amount of roving… thanks to our new Etsy friend, Becky, at her Etsy Store: SittinSpinnin! hi Becky!

So, what do we do now? RESEARCH!

Here’s a great video on how to use a drop spindle…

Because of course, E can’t wait for the delivery of the above spindle… so, we made one with odds and ends. And no, it’s not pretty.

Our ugly little spindle...

Our ugly little spindle…


Meeting the new baby…


E tries on some of the merchandise…


Back at home, washing some fleece… (I have NO idea if we did it right. We used shampoo. ShamPOO!!!!!!)


Um. Trying to card fleece using DOLL hair brushes. I know. It’s not sexy or professional. But it sort of worked. Sort of.


And here is our home-made spindle whorl. You can see we used Rapunzel Hair yarn from my Tangled store as our starter thread. And I struggled after watching the video. I’m a lefty, and I always figured that makes me backwards. But E is also a lefty. She took my struggling attempt and said, “No, mom. The other Ashley (at the Yarn website) said it works like THIS.” And look! she was right.


4 comments on “Spinning a Summer of Fun with Alpaca Fleece and Fiber

  1. Becky
    June 19, 2013

    How awesome! What a wonderful day! It makes my heart sing when I see a young person pick up fiber and feel the draw of ages. It really believe it is something from our deep and distant past that wakes up at the touch of fiber, a need to do something with our hands that will help preserve us.
    Thank you so much for including me in your day, and sharing my humble spindle 🙂

    • Ashley Ludwig
      June 19, 2013

      I love how you put that… The draw of the ages….

      That is exactly what it feels like! So glad to know you!

  2. Becky
    June 19, 2013

    Forgot to mention, I learned to drop spindle online, and one of my main go-to’s was

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