Just In Case You Were Wondering……..

….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.

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9 thoughts on “Just In Case You Were Wondering……..

  1. It looks like you are about to give a class with the chairs all lined up, lol. If you were, I’d sign up, it looks fascinating. When the Alpaca is washed, will it be white, or still an off white? I might be late for class though, as I have to come from Florida, USA.

  2. What a great gift from your sister!!!!
    I’m dying to learn to spin…
    I have an old ashford spinning wheel but the thread on the big wheel-y thing has broken and I’m not sure how to fix it, got any ideas???
    I love the super fine yarn that you’ve spun thus far and can’t wait to see what you get out of your full alpaca fleece..

    Hugs – Jodie 🙂

  3. Omigosh!! I’ve only seen alpaca fleece at the judging at the Olds Fibre Festival (annually in June, at Olds College, Olds, Alberta, CANADA). Amazing!! What a blessing! If I were you, I’d find someone to guide/instruct you on using as much of it as possible — even spinning the shorter fibres, if it can be done…

    What a gift!

  4. Very cool, I’ve never seen an alpaca fleece laid out like that (well I’ve never seen one period). What I found interesting is that your sister got the alpaca to protect the sheep, I’ve never heard of that before not that I know anything about alpaca except the fleece.

  5. My husband and I are looking at your pictures in awe. I think I am more amazed than he is; I don’t know the first thing about spinning … wool, fleece…you name it! If I were to ever begin knitting, I’ll know who to hit up!

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