Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spinning Alpaca

Alpaca singles

This week, I finished prepping a a sampler of alpaca fiber from Georgia Oaks Farm. It was produced by a a prize winning cria named Chocolate Rum Runner.

Georgia Oaks Farm Alpaca Roving

The fiber was somewhat clean, but it still smelled a bit of the barnyard, and had some straw in it. I washed the fiber with shampoo, removed the vegetable matter, and used hand cards to make a small mountain of rolags. From these rolags of carded fiber, I spun singles.

The spinning was tricky, especially at first, because the alpaca is so fine and slippery, and has no crimp. It is beautifully soft, but I had to add twist to keep it together. I had hoped to spin a fine lace weight, but the yarn came together much better at a heavier weight. Without measuring, I would say that the singles by themselves are about fingering weight.

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