I have raised alpacas for 3 going on 4 years now. Different than any other farm animal I have experienced, and wonderful in their own distinct fashion. I had the raw fiber processed into yarn for the first time this past summer and recently began knitting hats and ear warmers for family Christmas gifts.
Not much of a knitter or crocheter, even though I know the basics, I decided a knitting loom might be a good way to get started. I love the knitting looms: round, sox, and straight. You can produce a professional looking item in a short period of time and for some reason, I find I can read the patterns with confidence. Still trying to find patterns for loomed items beyond just basic hats, but I am having a good time putting my yarn to good use.
Every time I have something on made from alpaca yarn, I cannot stop touching it! It is amazing to the touch and so warm; Non-allergenic as a bonus. You have to feel it to believe the difference from other yarns, including merino wool. I have both suri and huacaya alpacas and its not hard to tell the difference between the two. Suri is much finer fibers and consequently finer yarn. Huacaya has more bulk and goes further in a pattern. So far with the knitting loom, I have found using 4 strands of yarn, a combination of both, types makes the perfect weight. In the hat below, I used two strands of contrasting color yarn. It is lacy and light. The rest of the items were made with 4 strands of yarn producing a much denser weave.
I absolutely love these items! I gave them all away except for the first hat and the brown turban neck warmer. My family love the items and I think they would welcome any other things I get inspired to make!
If you have a little bit of time, consider buying some alpaca yarn and a knitting loom. Find an easy pattern and revel in the wonderful experience of making something to keep you warm and feels luxurious! This simple pleasure is so rewarding I can’t encourage you enough to give it a try. If you need any alpaca yarn, just let me know. I have about 25 pounds of yarn in cream, taupe, and shades of brown.