Alpaca Fleece: Sample Spinning Part 1

So it has finally begun. The spinning of my alpaca fleece. It’s been in my possession for about 3 years at this point.  It was processed into batts and some roving by a local pal of mine, Helga. She’s a sweetie and a spinning oracle.

I decided to start out spinning up one of several samples to see how the fiber behaved. The first sample I decided to do was a 2-ply spun from the fold using a hybrid long-draw, forward-draw method. (More or less this means I shot from the hip as far as woolen or worsted. It’s a sample and I was having fun.)

IMG_3321.JPGI really wanted to end up with something along the lines of a dk-worsted weight, so I tried to spin thicker. I tried as hard as I could. Not sure it worked.

One thing I discovered is that no matter how “clean” you think alpaca is, it’s not. This one kept dumping dust and veg matter on my legs as I was spinning it. I don’t mind a little straw and I kept picking out the larger pieces leaving in some of the ones that escaped my claws as “texture” and “rustic charm” added to the yarn.

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I spun up about 25g total and then plied it into a 2-ply. I washed it (more dirt and grime came out in the wash) and let it air dry.  I love the fluffiness of this yarn. I love how it has so much loft and bounce. It feels like a cloud (if you could actually feel a cloud). But, I’m not sure this is what I want if I intend on knitting a garment.

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It’s rather thick-n-thin in places (yay for novice spinning!) and it doesn’t have enough twist. It’s a bit underspun I feel. I think for a garment I definitely want more twist, and more rigidity. I will knit this up into a wee swatch and see how it looks. I bet it would make a nice lacey cowl or some fingerless mitts.

The next sample I plan to spin is a true 3-ply. I have a 4th bobbin on it’s way so that it won’t be too much of a pain to do. We’ll see how that goes.

Hopefully my next blog post will come sooner rather than later.

Until next time…

-AMU

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One thought on “Alpaca Fleece: Sample Spinning Part 1

  1. I’m glad you’re taking the time for sampling. I need to do that more often and not just plunge in.

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