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Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? #498887 03/02/09 06:05 PM
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I was wondering if anyone here had used alpaca yarn for spinning and if so, what do you think of it? My husband and I are talking about raising alpacas to sell the fleece and I just wondered how common it is to use.

It's hypoallergenic so I would think spinners and people who do yarn crafts would really like it.

Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Joan541] #499102 03/03/09 02:52 AM
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Yes, I have. Lovely stuff. But, to sell fleeces to spinners, the fleece must be as clean as possible - meaning little to NO contamination with vegetable matter, dirt, dust, dung tags, second cuts, etc. and also be free of fleece faults such as tippiness, brakes, matting, etc. Alpacas LOVE to roll in the dust so investing in a good blower to clean their coats before shearing is a must.


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Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Llyn] #500093 03/05/09 08:17 PM
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Thanks for telling me! Do you know how I could learn to spin? What sort of place to I look for lessons?

I thought if were going to raise alpacas, it would be nice to know how to spin the fleece myself. I don't crochet but could have someone use my yarn to make me something to wear.

I've watched people spin and it looks so calming! I've done many crafts before. Do you think it would be hard to learn on my own?

Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Joan541] #500296 03/06/09 07:20 AM
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Spinning is easy to learn but there is a rather steep learning curve while trying to get everything working together and going in the right direction. The easiest and most inexpensive way to get started is with a drop spindle. You can make one of these yourself using an old CD and a piece of doweling. There is an article on the main spinning site her at Bellaonline "Spinning On A Drop Spindle" that gives instructions. Also, you can order an instruction brochure from spinoffmagazine.com. They have a brochure on learning to spin and another on making the drop spindles. They also have instructions instructions for making a small wheel. These may be downloaded at no charge from their web site.

Not being familiar with Florida, I sure don't know where to direct you for classes. Your best bet is looking for a shop that sells spinning supplies or tracking down a spinning guild in your area. Also, be sure to check out any sheep shows or fiber festivals in your area. These shows attract spinners and they usually have a vendor area and classes.



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Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Llyn] #500351 03/06/09 04:20 PM
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Thanks so much! I just bought a copy of Spinoff magazine and will check their website.

Actually, the land we are looking at is in Texas, where my family lives, so may be moving soon. What part of the country are you located in?

Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Joan541] #500355 03/06/09 04:36 PM
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Hi All,
Last weekend there was a small fiber festival close to me and one of the vendors there, is not a spinner but raises Llama. She sent her fiber out to be processed and had lovely rugs and all natural colors of yarn (skeins) for knitting. Her booth was very nice but she didn't even process her fibers herself. Just sent off all the fiber to be made into things she wanted to sell. Her displays of yarn skeins and rugs was pretty.

I still have both Alpaca and Llama fleeces so I didn't buy, but her booth made me thoughtful. You don't have to know how to spin or knit or weave to sell your fleeces to spinners.

Interesting I thought.

Nikki

Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Nikkiwys] #500356 03/06/09 04:41 PM
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I've never heard of any animal fiber being considered hypoallergenic. I don't know where this idea came from, but I would suspect that the idea is simply not true. Many people assume they are allergic to wool, when in fact they are more likely to be allergic to the soaps used to clean the wool. Don't know for sure, but I will assume that it is too broad a statement, to be true for everyone.

Nikki

Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Nikkiwys] #500402 03/06/09 07:27 PM
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I'm in Oregon. And, Nikki is correct - you do not have to know how to spin to sell your fibers. I think many of the alpaca people around here send their fibers off for processing. A few sell fleeces for handspinners but they take great care to make certain that these fleeces are top quality and extra clean. One grower I talked with spent 10 hours on picking a fleece to be certain that it was clean. Lots of work, yes - but she could ask and get top dollar for that fiber.

I think the alpaca folks have a co-op of sorts - they send their fleeces in and get product back. I suspect that they may be paid something for the wool they send in and then pay something for the product they get back for resale but am not exactly certain how this works. I do know that the products I have seen for sale at alpaca shows are not, for the most part, products made by the individual growers. I've heard, but do not know for a fact, that the fleeces are sent to SA for processing into finished goods. Anyway, the products the growers are selling is very good quality and yes, I have bought some of these items in addition to some fleece smile

Nikki - I agree with you on the hypoallergenic thing. True wool allergies are fairly rare. It is much more likely that someone claiming a wool allergy is allergic to the chemicals and/or dyes used in the commercial wool industry.


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Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Llyn] #500519 03/06/09 09:39 PM
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Hi Llyn,

Hypoallergenic is a more recent term.

"Hypoallergenic"- adjective. Definition: non-allergy producing. A term applied to a preparation in which every possible care has been taken in formulation and production to ensure minimum instance of allergic reactions.
(Blakiston's Medical Dictionary)

So by definition this term is ambiguous at best "...every possible care has been taken..."

Interesting, I'm glad mention was made of this term...I will know what it means now.

Nikki

Re: Have you used Alpaca Yarn to spin? [Re: Nikkiwys] #500750 03/07/09 11:47 PM
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Hello Everybody, Hope you don't mind me butting in it's just that I am so excited to hear about others who are wanting to do what I want to do. Alpacas and llamas are from mountainous areas aren't they. I wondered if they would do well in an area not always cool. I live in Oklahoma which can get rather warm (translated: HOT! HOT! HOT!) in the summer. Doesn't it take cooler temperatures to get the heavy coats so the wool is nice. Do you know anything about vicunas, which are smaller animals and have an even finer wool?

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