I love alpacas. Originally hailing from South America, they are a North American import and occasionally spotted in farmer’s fields if you look. If you don’t know already, alpaca fibre is wonderful to work with. Alpaca fibre is incredibly soft, warm and leaves a lovely halo on your finished work. As well, they are hypoallergenic and have no lanolin. I would have to say that alpaca is my favourite fibre to work with.
Did you know that there are two kinds of alpaca? They are the Huacaya, with a dense wool similar to sheep, and the Suri, with flowing wool that resemble unmatted dreadlocks.
I often work with Garnstudio’s DROPS Alpaca if you check out my knitting patterns. They have an excellent contemporary colour palette, which is also very important to me. You can work with the yarn as you would normally with one strand, or work with two for a bulkier look. Either way, I’m pleased (please note I don’t work for Garnstudio or any other yarn producer).
Another great yarn company for alpaca is Blue Sky Alpacas. They also have several lines of alpaca yarns and they’re all terrific. Melange is a yarn of 100% baby alpaca and it is sooo soft! They also Alpaca Silk, 50% alpaca, 50% silk – the yarn has a slight sheen and there’s a great colour palette. And there’s more, so please check them out!
Last but certainly not least, is locally produced alpaca yarn. You can usually find some in your local yarn shops, especially with the movement toward locally produced, sustainable products. Shopping local is a great way to go to support your local industry.
Did you know that a baby alpaca is called a cria? Here’s a picture, because baby alpacas are ridiculously adorable.
Do you have a favourite alpaca fibre to work with?