Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spinner's Study: Alpaca & Merino


So, for Ravelympics, I was continuing my spinning study, on alpaca. Needless to say, I'm *STILL* working on finishing that 2 oz of alpaca. This is being spun on a Greensleeves 1.6 oz spindle. I'm not sure if what I have is suri or huacaya, but I had gotten it as part of my original box from Spunky Eclectic. It's a natural tan color.

Ravelympics Spinning

- the alpaca is oh-so-buttery soft. It's very well prepared roving.
- the staple length is very *long* = 5-8"
- there's very little crimp in a given lock, so it's not very elastic.

I'm currently spinning it at about a heavy fingering or sport weight, as it seems to lend itself better to that weight. And I'm really really enjoying spinning this fiber.

However, I definitely would like to ply this with merino to give it a little bit of elasticity. I have some pure alpaca yarns, and while I love the drape and the feel, I think it would be better (for me) to mix this in with wool.

From my Spinner Study box, I have 2 oz of white merino, which is being spun on a Deborah Doyle (Asciano) spindle (1.25 oz).

Deboarah Doyle Spindle

Can I just say that I am *really* liking merino?

- lots and lots of crimp, which means that it's.....
- very very elastic. There is definite "sproing" in the spun yarn. I can easily see this being over spun.
- I am currently spinning this at a fingering weight because I want to ply it with the above alpaca, but I can definitely see spinning this a lot thinner (laceweight) just because of the fiber properties.

Some personal notes:
While I like merino, I'm not sure if this will become my "Go-To" fiber (or Desert Island fiber). I find that I'm preferring a little bit of a longer staple length for spinning purposes. This isn't to say that I won't spin merino, but I can easily see this being blended with other fiber types (like alpaca) just to mix things around a little bit.