Alpaca Knit Handwarmers

My very first knitting project with my handspun wool.

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The pattern I used was a free one off Ravelry (BonBons by Susanna IC – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bonbons). It had a really pretty pattern that was super easy to remember.

Also, I’m very new to both knitting and spinning…so this was my first attempt at knitting in the round using 4 double pointed needles. Needless to say, the first hour or so of knitting them was … interesting … 🙂

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As I was knitting the handwarmers I got a few rounds into the pattern and thought … hmm this pattern is a bit boring. It wasn’t until I turned them inside out that I could see the pattern starting to emerge. I felt a bit silly then.

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I am really happy with how they’ve turned out. The women at the spinning club mentioned that pure alpaca doesn’t retain it’s shape well and should be blended with sheep… I had a go… it didn’t go so well…

I’ve always just prepared my fibre using a dog flicker brush. I had a go using handcarders to blend the wool and alpaca…but it seemed to have these knotty bits that made lumpy bits in the spun wool.

If anyone has tips id love to hear them…in the meantime, I’ll keep practising.

Spinning Alpaca

On a whim, I decided to ride down to the local produce markets on the river. I wasnt really expecting to buy anything…but as I was browsing I noticed an alpaca stall.

They were selling a range of knitted items…but more importantly…out the front were three large bags of alpaca fiber.

They were a little dusty (as all alpaca seems to be), but they were a gorgeous dark chocolate colour and the staple seemed reasonably long compared to the horribly short stuff I bought a few weeks ago.

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I ended up buying the largest bag (2kg). It was slightly lesser quality than the smaller bags, but I figured as a beginner…I’d probably just waste the good stuff.

Can I just say now. I love alpaca.

The fiber is so easy to spin. It glides out of your hands. Also, you dont have to wash it to get the lanolin out! Big plus 🙂

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Ive been having a great time spinning it up over the long weekend, and this time I actually have an idea of what I want to use the finished yarn for. I have aspirations of making a pair of fingerless gloves. But I need to be quick…its the middle of spring and today is a stinker at 35 degrees C. I doubt there will be many more cool days left this year.

Now I just need to figure out whether to navajo or normal ply it. If anyone has suggestions id love to hear them.

xxx