Last summer, Jason and I went to South Dakota, where we got to visit an alpaca ranch. It was awesome, and I bought something like 2 pounds of alpaca, straight off of an award winner named Tiera. I’m planning on spinning it once the baby is born, but since this yarn is my special snowflake, I bought some Alpaca from Rich-Nes Alpacas when I was at Stitches Midwest (4 oz of roving) last year. I figured I’d rather test my alpaca spinning prowess on an alpaca I don’t know, than my Tiera fleece.
I spun this from the fold, since alpaca feels more slippery than most of the sheep’s wool I’ve worked with. It was an excellent method, and resulted in some nice, fluffy yarn. I’ve been wanting to try spinning from the fold anyway, since I thought alpaca deserved a technique that created a less dense yarn. I typically spin something DK or sport weight, and this is much thicker than my usual spinning efforts, and I focused on making it look sort of “handspun-y” rather than trying to make it look balanced and perfect.
I will totally be purchasing some more roving for Rich-Nes too – the stuff is so much fun to spin, very easy and oh so pretty. I kind of just want to hug the yarn, not actually make anything out of it, because after thowing it into soak, it ended up being super soft.
After I was done plying the alpaca, I had a little bit of yarn left over and decided to try my hand at core spinning/coil spinning. I plan to do another post on this in a bit, because I had so much fun doing it, but if you aren’t familiar, check out this example from Spin Off from Spring 2008. I used my leftover alpaca and some of my very first spun silk hankies. I like the contrast, and don’t plan on knitting this because I really like the way it looks just sitting there – kind of like something you want to eat. Maybe someday, I’ll figure out what to do with it.
Anyway, more to come on that at a later date as I plan on doing this again….