Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Alpaca Adventure

How cute am I?
I am one of the worlds best/worst impulse buyers!  'Buy now, think later!' should be my motto.  I saw this and could not resist.  It looked so glossy and silky and soft and squishy and it spoke to me...'please give me a good home...'  Well I heard it anyway.  I have read about Alpaca fibre, I have fantasized about Alpaca farms...but as yet until this arrived a couple of days ago, this is the closest I have got.  (Just in case you are wondering I bought the fleece in the pictures below, but wish I had bought the cutie in the picture above.)  I now realise Alpaca fleece is very different to wool.  I have not tried spinning with it yet.  I have about 750g.  I have decided to wash it after I have spun it. I am worried that I may felt it before it even gets to the spinning wheel if I wash it first.  It does not smell, which to me raw wool can be quite whiffy.  It does not feel dirty, which to me, quite often wool can.  I have read Alpacas tend to get dusty rather than dirty as they have a penchant for dust baths, so you can spin first and then wash.

I read an article on the net last night that discussed the pros and cons of Drum carding or Hand Carding Alpaca fibre and made my mind up to try drum carding.  I spent almost two hours with my trusted and able 6year old assisstant and we manged to get about 80g beautifully carded into soft, fine, silky rolags.  I am new to drum carding and had a grand notion I would get the fleece prepared and ready in an afternoon, (the best laid plans of Mice and Men and all that).  I really did not expect it to take quite so long.  I am very tempted to spin with some this afternoon, but feel I should card more first.  I am going to try and spin 100% Alpaca but I am ready to blend with wool if I find it too tricky.


  1. Oh that looks fab! What a clever gorl you are spinning your own. I go into my LYS and squish the Alpaca yarns every time trying to justify it to myself (£5.95 per 50g ball) I think I may just have to give in now I have found a fantastic pattern for figerless mitts which I am doing in cashmere at the moment!
    Love Tickety-boo xx

  2. very nice, really looking forward to seeing this lot spun into beautiful fluffy yarn :)

  3. So beautiful!
    I advice you to blend it with wool, becouse I made a sweater out of my handspun alpaca, and it tends to loose schape. And it tends to felt at the ends of the sleeves, becouse they get wet when I do the dishes, when I wash wool etc..
    and the sleeves get longer too.

  4. I have spun and knit 100% alpaca -chestnut colored baby alpaca to be exact- and it was really lovely. For all it's fluff and softness, it makes a surprisingly heavy garment. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind when choosing a project. Have fun!

  5. Get ready for some Gandalf hair bud. Brush him every day and keeping it in used quality street tin. Shame you couldn't get an Alpaca just see Alice the alpaca, Lacey and Gandalf going for a walk :-)


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