Blue Alpaca Yarn
This is one skein of my hand dyed hand spun 100% alpaca yarn. As you can see there is some slight variation in thickness, but overall it is a bulky weight, or 8 WPI for you weavers. It is 12 ounces and is approximately 195 yards. Alpaca yarn is warmer than wool, breathes, and it is hypoallergenic. I would consider this a good yarn for outerwear, as it is not as soft as some of my other alpaca yarn.
I get my alpaca fleeces from local farmers. Since it is coming from a farm, there is normal farm type stuff mixed in with it, like hay, straw, dirt, and other assorted things we won’t mention. So the first thing I do is pick the fleece, which involves shaking out as much dirt as I can then sitting there picking out everything I can see that isn’t fleece. Once this is done, it goes into a citric acid bath to soak for a bit. Then the dye gets added, and it simmers outside over a flame for about an hour (more or less depending on color). Once it comes out of the pot, I rinse it off with a hose. This gets rid of the acid and most of the excess dye that might try and come along for the ride. Then I pick it again, because something always gets missed the first time around! It is then off to the carder. I use a drum carder to get all the hair to lay in the same direction, which makes for a more even yarn when it is spun. Of course, more picking happens during the carding! Next is off to my Louet spinning wheel for spinning, plying, and making into skeins. Naturally, more picking happens during spinning, just to be sure that no little bits of straw get spun into the yarn. Then it is off to the washing machine to set the twist, make sure the dye is set, and make sure all of the excess dye is gone. After drying in the sun, it gets re-skeined and is finally ready to be made into a finished item.