Friday, July 5, 2019

From Alpaca to Sweater

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the fleece of two alpacas, fresher shorn, and smelled of barn.  I have never tackled fleece through to sweater, but was ready to try.  I put the fleece in small washing bags and gently soaked small batches in my kitchen sink.  Two soapy soaks and three rinses resulted in soft fluffy white fibre.  I was delighted.  I used carding brushes and blended the alpaca with 25% merino top, and rolled into small rolags ready for spinning.

I spun and plied the yarn, and ended up with lots of huge 130gram skeins, some of which I dyed a bright yellow. After swatching and calculating, I knit a warm sweater in mostly yellow alpaca yarn, and every eighth row I added a lace weight red mohai as a knit along.  It turned out better than I could imagine.  I charted a white heart for the front and knit it, intarsia style. Simple, but fun.  And seriously warm.  
Then I still had some yarn, so I crocheted this little alpaca to remind me of the start of this adventure.