My Favorite Yarn Source

That’s Y – A – R – N
For some reason, on my screen it looks like y – a – m

I love the softness of alpaca fiber.  Llama is nice, but I hate having to pull all the guard hair; alpaca is much better.  Without further ado, meet Thunder, Roosevelt, and Fibonacci:

Alpacas Pasture

Shearing:

Alpaca Shearing

Best yarn souce there is!

 

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8 thoughts on “My Favorite Yarn Source

  1. Hold on a second…you have alpacas???? I am extremely jealous! I love alpaca yarn and the animals themselves are adorable! So do you know how to spin? Because then I would be even more jealous. I have been wanting to learn but can’t quite get it from youtube. I need someone to show me in person and I don’t know anyone who knows how. Some day I will figure it out.

    • Yes, we have three alpacas. They are aloof, snooty little creatures. But adorable.

      Do you have a spinning wheel? Start with pencil roving so that you’re just spinning and not having to draft at the same time. After you get the hang of it, then you can draft while you’re spinning. I learned on a Louet, and really prefer the tower wheels, as opposed to the kind you see in old-fashioned photos. Mess with the wheel’s tension – I completely remove my tension screw, otherwise I spend all my time wrestling with the wheel over which one of us controls the yarn.

      Alpaca & llama are slippery. Start with sheep’s wool.

      If we were closer, I’d be happy to teach you. Let me brainstorm a few options… If you have a zoo with sheep, you might check there. Sometimes they have a program where people who volunteer to card the wool can learn how to spin in exchange. Or check your community center for classes. Hmmm… Spin Off magazine could connect you with a guild in your area, and someone there might be willing to teach you. This is the perfect time of year to visit the fair; find the sheep barn and ask around – you might even see parents of kids’ on herdsmanship sitting there with a spinning wheel… Ask about 4H clubs; they sometimes do spinning, too. Oh, and Weaving Works in Seattle has classes; I assume that shops all over the country have something similar. How about Pioneer Farms, where kids can go to learn how people lived in the past? Spinners will volunteer there sometimes. Just a few ideas.

      There’s a sense of satisfaction in being able to do the entire sheep-to-shawl (or, in my case, alpaca-to-sock) :-)

  2. It looked like yam to me, too, and I had a split second of confusion when I saw the alpacas. :)

    I spent a day working at an alpaca farm once during high school — I can’t remember why! I think it was some kind of fundraiser. I had a great time – they were so much fun.

  3. oh my god! is there an animal under all that fur? I’ve never seen an animal being sheared…very cool

    i just found your blog by the way. I’m robin, nice to meet you!

    • Welcome, Robin :-)
      The white alpaca on the ground (in the lower picture) is about the same size as the fawn-colored one standing in the background. As a starting reference point, my son’s arm is against the right side of the alpaca’s body, toward the hind-end. The fiber that’s already been shorn off the alpaca is off to the left, about three times as wide as the animal’s body. I think this year’s shearing was about five pounds of fiber per animal. They have a lot of hair!

  4. Wow…this alpaca post was pages back on your blog! Believe it or not, this has been on my mind for quite while since I’ve been coming out of the faze of my last flare…

    I love alpaca wool! Fortunately I reside in the Andean countries where alpacas are very bountiful…I have alpaca gloves, scarves, socks, etc…I wouldn’t trade them for the world. You are very fortunate to have alpacas! (Do the spit as much as llamas?)

    • Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better. Are alpaca garments as expensive there as they are here? I’ve seen simple shawls for over $200. Don’t think I’ve ever seen socks or gloves for sale.

      Llamas and alpacas are more likely to spit at people if they were exposed to humans too young. Spitting is to show dominance; if they spit at you, it means they’re challenging you for who’s in charge. Spit back. In their face.

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