Alpaca Madness

From Mum! ~Reb

My dyeing career began with an alpaca fleece, and this weekend is the Maryland Alpaca Festival, so it’s appropriate that I should share what I did next with that fleece after dyeing it.  Joyce from Alpaca Joy is a neighbor, and so was there at Highland Day to sell me my very first fleece 2 years ago.  Now she is the one who encouraged me to participate in this festival!  But first…..some spinning joy……

After taking spinning lessons from Maggie at the Sheep and Wool Festival, I felt ready to give it a try.  My goal: long repeats.  I began by dividing up the colors of fleece into 8 bags.

You can see I decided on a color sequence, and attempted to divide the colors equally, even to the point of using a postal scale to get pretty close.

I decided to spin it worsted, using a comb to prepare the fibers.  I had just bought a new set at the Festival and wanted to try them out.  Would this preparation be better for alpaca?  I won’t really know until I’ve made the project….a shawl?

I enjoyed using a comb because it was easier on my limbs than carding.

Spinning the colors was pure joy.

I made 2 bobbins in the same sequence, then plied them together.

Now ideally, I would have done the 2nd set the exact same way, but time passed…..and I couldn’t remember what I had done before.  For some reason, I did not simply follow the order in my bags, I reversed it all.

Sigh.  Oh well, the 2 skeins are certainly complimentary.  I will adjust knitting plans to make it work.

Did you know that this weekend is the Alpaca Festival of Maryland?!  At the Howard County Fairgrounds, tomorrow and Sunday, there will be alpaca madness for sure.  I am honored to be giving my first workshop there on dyeing with natural materials.  If you don’t already have plans and you live in MD, please stop by!  Click here to learn more.

5 thoughts on “Alpaca Madness

  1. Thanks for a great workshop at the Alpaca Festival. It turns out that I have pokeberries growing in my back yard, so I’ll try dyeing with them next year.


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