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 Just Getting Started - Beginning to Spin
 spinning alpaca
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2011 :  08:46:46 AM  Show Profile Send Candycej a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a new spinner and came back from the Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival with several kinds of wool. I've been told that alpaca and merino are more difficult, but I bought some alpaca anyway. I don't have to do that right away, but was wondering if there is a difference in spinning alpaca. Any hints are welcome. Thanks.

Permanent Resident

2390 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2011 :  05:52:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alpaca doesn't have the same type of crimp that wool has, so it will feel and act more "slippery" which may be why you were told it can be more difficult. I don't think of it as difficult, just different. Lots of people learn to spin with alpaca, so it can't be that different or difficult.

Use more twist than you would for wool, and if you find that it's a challenge, try mixing it with wool or spinning from the fold. Depending on the intended use of your yarn, blending with wool may be a good idea anyway, as alpaca can stretch out of shape, or that the final garment can grow due to gravity. Pure alpaca yarn has little or no memory to bounce back to shape as wool does.

ravelry name - sheliaknits
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Chatty Knitter

247 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2011 :  09:24:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit mathiemom's Homepage Send mathiemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Sheila on all points. I'm also a fairly new spinner, but one of the first rovings I spun was a 50/50 blend of Jacob and alpaca. It was very beginner-friendly and made for an easy spin and lovely yarn. Play around with it - that's part of the fun of spinning!

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New Pal

12 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2012 :  10:14:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Zoomom's Homepage Send Zoomom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a newer spinner, and I found alpaca isn't harder, just different. I agree more twist than wool - the feel of it is different and it comes out of the rolags fluffier and more easily than wool. Wool I find I have to tug on it a bit more to separate it. Try it and have fun!

Hand knit socks rock.
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