Spinning With: Cashmere, Black Alpaca, Caramel Alpaca-Merino Blend.

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Hello, today I am coming back at you with three new fibres I have spun with. I consider the cashmere the highlight of this post as it is luxurious and fancy, and the others are different versions of alpaca wool that I have already written about in a post. Although I will admit that the difference are bigger than you think they would be.

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I spun most of these yarns a while ago, I haven’t been able to find the time to write a post on them yet. But tis’ the season to write blog posts! And I’m starting with the cashmere because it is the nicest ball of yarn I have spun to date and it made me very happy!

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I thought the cashmere to be harder to spin but it was surprisingly similar to the merino wool. It had a similar fibre length to merino, i.e. long fibres, but it was much softer than merino. I guess the best way to describe it is to ask you to think of a cashmere sweater… Take a moment and think about the softness and cuddly kitten qualities of it. Just make a nice mental note of the sweater. Now imagine cashmere roving in all its luxury. Now spin with it! It is very nice to spin with and I can’t wait to spin more, and I truly mean that because I stocked up with about 10 bags of it from the shop I bought all my spinning fibres from. I can justify this (and the price) by saying they were 70% off. And it would have been a crime to pass that up.

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Cashmere is the most expensive fibre I’ve used. I have to admit that I was nervous to start spinning it. I had initially bought two bags but what if it was a disaster? But I was being optimist and trusting my spinning skills and it went alright. I would say it was one of my better balls of yarn spun. Though I think that I trying to make it better because of the price. Money really does equal respect in this situation. After this ball went well I decided to buy more and the 70% off sale was a perfect opportunity. The price of the cashmere I bought differs from bag to bag because it is sold by weight. Think of it roughly as just short of 50$ for 100 grams. See why the sale was great?

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Next is the black alpaca, again something I bought in the 70% off sale. Though the full price for it is similar to that of regular white alpaca, roughly 22$ for a bag (just note that most of the bags of fibre I bought are the size of the produce and bulk bags you get in grocery stores unless I indicate otherwise). You would think that the alpaca yarn would be very similar to that of the white alpaca but it was much coarser. It reminded me of the top coat of a long-haired cat. Not the downy fluffy cat fur that reminds you of frolicking in the back-hair of an angel aka stomach fur, I’m saying back top-hair.

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It was harder to spin than I thought it would be, the texture made it harder to draft. It was more slippery than the white alpaca wool that I first learned to spin alpaca with. I would attribute this to its overall more hair not fur-like texture. Overall the slipperiness of the wool was the big issue. So if you don’t mind that or blend the alpaca with another less-slippery black wool it would be great.

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The last fibre that I am sharing is a blend and local! It is an alpaca, merino wool, and silk blend that I bought at a fair that I went to at the end of the summer. The exact percentages are 90% alpaca and 10%merino and silk blend. It seems like it will mostly be soft if it were knitted or woven, however I could see it potentially being itchy around the neck and shoulders area if it were a top or sweater. However I cannot confirm that yet as i have only spun it. It could be surprisingly cozy and sometimes a bit of itch is good.

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As for the cost of this wool blend it cost 18$ for 100 grams. I would not say that the price is bad. As it had obviously been carded by hand, making it a lot lighter and less condensed than any other fibre I have spun and because of this it was a lot easier to draft evenly. Also I used maybe 20 grams (probably even less) of the wool for this ball of yarn and I still have plenty left. I would say I have enough for either a loose knit sweater, or some large tight-knit cuffs and collars on some sweaters. I definitely will have enough for a pair of socks or two, and/or mittens, or a scarf!

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All-in-all my conclusions are: cashmere is great and lovely to spin and stock up when you find it on sale (especially 70% off), black alpaca hair seems denser than white or even caramel alpaca hair and I’m not sure if this is true across the board but it is true for the alpaca I bought, and the alpaca merino-silk blend bought locally is really great and fairly priced for being hand carded and I would buy from this vendor again.

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Do you have any experiences of spinning with any of these fibres? How did you find it?

Cheers!

-L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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