The animal: Alpaca named Xena. Lives right here in Maine and I got to meet her and see her home: the most amazingly clean farm ever. The first thing that struck me was how consistent the shearing was on each animal. Like a work of art.
The fleece: Four pounds of it, minimal VM, a fair amount of dust but well skirted and easy to clean. Alpaca fleece does not contain lanolin as sheep fleece does. I had an interesting time unfolding this out of the bag as it wanted to drift apart. For now I have carefully put it back in the bag until I can come up with a plan on how best to wash it. The second picture shows a single unwashed lock, 4″+ staple length.
The fiber: Lacking fiber combs, I used a hair pick to comb through the washed and dried lock, preparing it to spin. Now I understand the difference between commercially prepared top and hand combed top.
The spinning: Hand spun and andean plied into a lace weight/light fingering yarn, about 20wpi I think.
The finished yarn: about 6 yards out of one lock. I did weigh it but I don’t remember how much it weighed. Oops. Deliciously soft and pleasantly springy.
I plan on blending some of this alpaca fiber with angora from my parents’ rabbits. I may also try dyeing some of it. I want to use the brown as an accent somehow to remind me of cute Xena’s spot. Perhaps a little scarf with a single large circle of brown?
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