How is the yarn made?
Here, in Central New York, the alpacas are shorn in the middle of May. My yarn is made from the "blanket" fiber. The softer, cleaner fiber over the back and sides of the alpaca. They typically yield 3 to 4 lbs. of blanket fiber. I pick the hay and grain out of it and soak it in hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes, drain, soak in plain water, then drain again. All the while being careful to not agitate the fiber, as this would cause felting.
It is layed out to dry for a couple days on a screen. I then tease the fiber before putting it through the drum carder. Carding lines up the fibers to spin.
After spinning a single, I transfer it to a ball winder and then ply the ball onto itself to make a two ply yarn.
The two ply is removed from the spindle and wound onto a "niddy noddy" to make a skein. The skeins are soaked in hot water and hair conditioner to "set the twist".
The skeins are hung to dry on coat hangers in my dining room for a couple days and then are twisted back into a skein.
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