….what a full alpaca fleece looks like……
……let me show you.
This is the white fleece from my my sister in laws alpaca. So far they have only one but she tells me that they are thinking of getting more to protect their sheep. As she doesn’t spin she asked would I like the fleece. Yes please!!!!!
I have never laid out a full fleece before and was pretty darn surprised just to see how much wool was in a full fleece. My kitchen table is 1.5 metres square and it covered that twice.
Yes I did lay it out on the table – it was hot outsisde, I was lazy and it was the only table big enough that I would have room to work over the entire fleece. Ohh and yes I did scrub the table down afterwards cause I have to tell you the amount of prickles and dirt in the fleece was fairly amazing not to mention the not so lovely alpaca smell.
Unfortunately you can’t use all the fleece. Not that I’m an expert by any means but the leg fleece and different parts of the body are just too short for spinning and the wool is too dirty or coarse to make it viable. I did pick out lots though and have spent about four hours spinning up one bobbin of lovely fine fleece.
I may have done a bit much spinning yesterday as by last night my fingers were pretty sore and a bit like little fat swollen sausages…sigh…..but the temptation to continue on was very strong. It is lovely to spin and I’m getting some of the finest thread I have spun. Yes it does look brown and dirty – you don’t have to wash alpaca before you spin it. It doesn’t have the lanolin in it that wool does (or at least not in the quantities of wool) so it’s easy to spin as it is. I’m hopeing at the end of all this that I might have enough lovely fine wool to knit a shawl.