Friday, January 9, 2009

If only Alpacas didn't spit.

I'm truly thinking of getting an Alpaca or a sheep as a pet. You know why? Because I'm trying to get 100% wool in a tropical island. No, I'm not crazy, I'm mad, I just like to knit... a lot. Right now I'm conducting an experiment in wet felting. I always wanted to try it but couldn't find wool unless I go to a specialty store, which there are very, VERY few here. Well, I decided to go on a mission. I had my 3 addresses on hand, a tankful of gas and blackmail money so my girls would come with me for the ride. First store was about 45 minutes away, in a place where I had not been in ages. Turns out it is a business out of a home and it was closed that day, go figure! Second shop, cozy little shop in which the owner had some aura static and poor communication skills. You should have seen her face when I asked for felting needles. I know I sometimes come through a little coocoo, but I started to check myself to see if I had something coming out of my nose. There I found ($20 for an Alpaca skein!!!!!!) a $8 (50% Acrylic, 50% Wool) which I thought would be a nice subject for the test. The third store..... gone, turned into a bar. Why didn't they keep the shop and put a bar in it. Now that's a niche.  I felt so abandoned. Other stores like Capri (locally owned department store) and Walmart are packed with craft goodies for every taste with a nice knitting and crochet section but all fibers are artificial. Nothing natural.. or close. So I guess that I'll have to do my shopping online... that just takes the fun out of the hunt. I must say that the prices are much, MUCH, lower and the variety is huge, so that makes up for it.

I couldn't wait to try and felt the darn yarn so I diligently started knitting a nice generous piece (that I could turn into anything if failed) and started the wet felting. I took my Ziplock bag, hot water and my soap, stretched my arms and started taking the place of the washing machine. I agitated, I massaged, I rubbed that piece for almost one hour. Good workout. Bad felting. I took it out to dry and tomorrow, will see how it turned out. From what I see, it didn't felt a lot, but it's nice. I'm guessing it's the 50% acrylic, but hey, " a falta de pan.. galletas"*. I had to work with what I had.  

Right there, when I saw the price of the Alpaca wool, I thought of them as pets right away. I live in a rural-almost-urban part of Trujillo Alto in Puerto Rico where an Alpaca or sheep would love to live. Just one, as a pet, or supply. I wouldn't mind at all. The crazy lady with the alpaca. My lovely llama-like pet. I could call him Cusco. But there is only one problem, they smell and they spit. AAghhh.  For me that could be a dealbreaker, and also the fact that has to be approved by the rest of the family. I guess I will be shopping online for now. There goes instant gratification.

*Puertorrican popular saying: "when there is no bread, use crackers". Use whatever you have.

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