The Gift of the Alpaca Part 1

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My son has been in camp this past week and when I signed him in each day, the rival camp was also taking in their kids to something called “Gifts of the Deer.” Well, they may have been trying to figure out all the ways to use up a deer carcass, me? I’m just trying to figure out how to handle raw alpaca fleece!

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My dear “Mean Jean” gave me a lovely fleece and I have yet to wash and work with it. I’m not one to look a “gift fleece” in the mouth, as it were. I have received a few so far (and I’ve only just begun!) But often, gift fleeces or free fleeces aren’t the best–there is something “off” about them, as in: they have been sitting in their plastic bags in a barn or a garage just waiting that year (or 2 or 3) for some poor spinner to say “I’ll take it!”

Luckily for me, this fleece is primo and I have seen the yarn mill-spun from other fleeces of this herd, so I have faith and a bit of excitement going forward. Just need to, well, figure out what one does with alpaca and how it’s different from what one does with wool!

At least I know about the non-existent lanolin, so I plan to wash in cold/warm water instead of hot. And I did spin just a little bit from the raw lock when Jean gave initially gave it to me. Seems to spin up well. Gifts of the deer? I’m sure they’re great, but as a vegetarian, I’ll take gifts of fleece any day 🙂

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