Saturday, April 20, 2013

Suri Alpaca is on the wheel

My fiber fascination continues with spinning Suri Alpaca.  This isn't your typical alpaca. There are two varieties of alpaca, the huacaya (wooly type) and the suri (with long sleek locks).  90 to 93 percent of alpacas are huacaya and only 7 to 10 percent are suri.
Alpacas of America provides a nice description of these wonderful fiber animals.

Suri Alpaca
I purchased a blanket of suri fleece at a Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival many years ago.

I lightly carded the locks prior to spinning.  It is spinning like a dream.  The carding loosens up any VM and it falls aways.

Alpaca is heavier than wool and does not have the elasticity. It is also slipperier than wool.  I am spinning it with a bit more twist than wool and am plying it loosely to keep it soft and encourage drape.  I plan to knit  a shawl with this black alpaca and  use my handspun English Angora for an accent design.
unwashed skein

  I will wash the yarn with dish washing liquid in warm water to clean it and to set the twist. My hands turned black from the spinning of the unwashed fiber.  The rinse will also be in warm water and I may follow this up with a wash in Eucalan.

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