Alpaca scarves and beanies
It’s nearly that time of year when you need a nice warm beanie or scarf to ward off the chills of winter. Alpaca fleece is incredibly warm, soft and it’s not itchy. Alpaca fleece comes in a natural colours ranging from white, fawn, beige, brown, grey and black.
I bought my first 6 boy alpacas in September 2010 as paddock munchers but also hoping to one day learn to spin their fleece. I learnt to spin the following year by going on a short course and received my Majacraft spinning wheel for Christmas. I love my spinning wheel – it’s made out of New Zealand Rimu and is a double treadle wheel.
Currently, I have 19 adult alpacas and 9 cria (baby alpacas). Clover, my first cria, was born in July last year and it was an exciting moment to see a newborn in the paddock. My family take turns naming these adorable furry bundles.
So many alpacas create a lot of fleece waiting to be spun. First, I card the fleece. Carding separates and straightens the fleece to make spinning easier. Next I spin the fleece by drawing it rhythmically into my spinning wheel to form one continuous yarn which is wound onto a bobbin. When I have two bobbins full of yarn, I spin the two yarns together to ply them. I then wash the finished yarn to remove all the dirt and set the ply. Alpacas love to roll in dirt patches so their fleece is pretty dirty. I either knit up the yarn as it is or sometimes I’ll dye white fleece to create a more colourful scarf.
It’s very satisfying when I complete a beanie or scarf knowing that my alpacas provided the fleece. A large range of scarves and beanies are available at the gallery all throughout the cold months. Who will you choose to wear? Perhaps a black scarf from Sarge? Or maybe you’d prefer fawn from Moptop?