I bought a few ounces of alpaca fleece from a local alpaca producer a few months ago. Marcia, of Alpacas at Orchard Hill Farm has really lovely fiber. It’s soft and strong, and very fine. I don’t know if Alpaca is classified like Mohair, where “kid mohair” is a grade of fine quality no matter how old the goat is, but if it is, I would say Marcia’s sells “baby Alpaca” (Even what she calls course our local spinning group agrees is not really so course as far as wool goes.)
It has taken me some time to pick (opens the locks and help dispense with veg matter) and wash the fleece, (easier than with sheep’s wool because of lack of lanolin) but yesterday, I finally finished washing it out.
I have just about 6 oz of a dark reddish brown.
and 3-4 oz of a nice fawn.
Since space is a huge issue in my house, I have been laying the locks out on towels as I clean them, that way, I can roll the towel up and throw it in the closet when I need my kitchen back. (Because the only place to put down the towels is on the kitchen floor–and if you’ve seen my kitchen, you know that one bath towel just about takes over.)
Since I needed my kitchen to cook dinner last night, I rolled the towels up together and tucked the alpaca roll in the bedroom (in front of a window). This morning, the alpaca was still just a little bit damp, so I set it out in front of the plant window to finish drying. If there weren’t nesting birds fluttering around my balcony, I would set it outside directly in the sun, but the finches and swallows are back for the spring, and if I set this fiber outside there would end up being a lot of really cozy nests and no fiber for me.
The plan for this afternoon is card as much of both colors as I can and then spin like mad. I have even been playing around blending the two colors together on my hackle, but haven’t decided yet. For now, I will just appreciate my alpaca pile.