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 spinning alpaca?
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glassgirl
New Pal

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  12:09:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit glassgirl's Homepage Send glassgirl a Private Message
Hi, I just bought a little apaca top to try out; it couldn't be any more gorgeous and soft!! Any tips for spinning it??

Thanks!
Martha

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  12:13:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Alpaca (my favorite fiber to knit or spin!) is very slippery - but I like slippery stuff! It's similar to silk in it's slide. You'll want to spin it worsted style for a little more control, but have fun playing - it can make a beautiful yarn!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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pjkite
Permanent Resident

1198 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  12:40:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message
Alpaca makes lovely yarn, but you do need to be careful about the amount of twist you put into those slippery fibers. If you put in too much, alpaca can quicly turn into something resembling baling wire! Unlike slippery fibers such as superwash wool and long-staple cotton, keep your ratio low. I spin alpaca top on a 6:1 or 8:1 ratio. You want just enough twist to keep the yarn together, and sometimes there's only a treadles-worth between just right and too much. So take your time and enjoy spinning that luscious stuff!

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee
http://fiberlife.blogspot.com/

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celia
Permanent Resident

Australia
2454 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  1:06:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit celia's Homepage Send celia a Private Message
I agree with Pamela. I have alpaca coming out of my ears at the moment as Ibought a lot of fleece at a closing down sale. I am still learning to sort it and card it and spin it. Seems like tehre is a fine line between not enough and too much when both carding and spinning it.

celia

My blog is here:
http://celiaknits.blogspot.com
I am destashing here:
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heidigrace
Chatty Knitter

USA
166 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2005 :  2:49:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit heidigrace's Homepage Send heidigrace a Private Message
I love spinning alpaca. I find it eaiser to spin it up very fine and then ply if I wany something thicker than lace weight, I'm able to get it to hold together better that way.

My main suggestion is to just enjoy it! It you have a ahrd time managing the drafting, try spinning from the fold. Once you get going, it's really quite easy to work with. As with any fiber, you just need to find the rhythm.

Heidi
http://users.rcn.com/heidigrace
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glassgirl
New Pal

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2005 :  6:07:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit glassgirl's Homepage Send glassgirl a Private Message
Thanks everyone! I'm going to give it a try really soon. Somehow the time just keeps slipping away from me so far! But soon. Really.

Martha
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Manasi
Chatty Knitter

United Kingdom
297 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  3:13:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Manasi's Homepage Send Manasi a Private Message
I bought alpaca from the FFF in Montpelier,VA. Then, from my visit to India, I got some raw tussah silk & cashmere. I'm blending those & some cashmere. The rolags look yummy but I haven't spun it yet.
Good to know about the ratios. I was under the impression that I had to put a whole lot of twist to it.

:)
http://yarnahoy.blogspot.com/
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spinningbunny
Warming Up

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  09:29:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit spinningbunny's Homepage Send spinningbunny a Private Message
Yep, It's a long staple fiber so less twist is better and therefore softer. My DH uses long draw and gets the nicest singles from it. I have some alpaca/merino/silk top I have yet to spin. I just love touching and looking it. It is on my list to spin after -after -after.....Ah so many choices, so many projects!!!!! What heaven! My suggestion is to try spinning just a few minutes at a time if you have only a little time. At least you will get the thrill and joy from it each day.

Have a hoppin'in day,
Susan, the bunny's spinner
http://www.spinningbunny.com
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Lanthir
Warming Up

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  11:38:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanthir's Homepage Send Lanthir a Private Message
I made the mistake of underspinning alpaca. Worst thing ever. It was hell(pardon my language). The thread brok constantly while I was spinning, and even more when I was plying. It took me over three hours to spin and ply 50 yards.
But it's so pretty!

"And we shall call it 'This Land'"
Firefly
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