Sacred Acres Alpaca Farm

A Farm for the Community

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The (K)nitty-gritty Of Crafting With Alpaca Fiber

Photo credit: Susan Edginton
Alpaca fiber and themed gifts available in our farm store. Farm store is open Saturdays 10am-2pm or week days by appointment.

Alpaca fiber and themed gifts available in our farm store. Farm store is open Saturdays 10am-2pm or week days by appointment.

Hey Farm Friends,

There has been a creative bug around our little farm this summer. We hope everyone who had the opportunity to purchase one of our alpaca sweaters during our Christmas in Summer sale enjoys their new wardrobe pieces. For those of you who missed out, don’t worry, we do these types of sales periodically and we will definitely be doing this again. For August, we are focusing on our crafty friends. If you purchase more than 5 skeins of alpaca yarn, you will receive 10% off your total yarn purchase.

With fall right around the corner (despite the blaring sun, it’s almost pumpkin spice season!), we are starting to get to work on projects for the holidays. I have a very artsy family, so we aren’t much for big gifts as much as personal gifts and experiences. With that, craft projects are one of the best exchanges that we have. I tend to keep myself busy, so I am only able to work on projects here and there, getting started early is usually my best bet. When starting these types of projects, I try to create something helpful to have that isn’t limited to the holiday season if I can. Minus holiday coffee cups, you will absolutely see me rocking a “On The Nice List After Coffee” customized thermos in July at my local coffee shop. However, alpaca fiber definitely lends itself to many projects that are not only thoughtful but useful to have. Even for those with allergies and sensitivities, alpaca yarn has many unique qualities that make it an amazing fiber to knit with.

The coat of an alpaca is much thicker and finer than its camelid cousins. Having been bred over generations to improve their coats qualities, instead of as labor intensive animals like the llama, their yarn is referred to as “the fiber of the gods.” And not without reason, it was so highly regarded for its luxurious quality that it was used to weave the clothing of Inca royalty. High-quality alpaca yarn is extremely soft, so much so than normal sheep wool. The main difference between the two is how far the cuticle cells protrude. Under a microscope, there is a visible scaling on the fiber. This is with all hair (even humans!). If you were to look at a piece of your normal hair versus a split end, you would notice the variation in scaling and you can feel the textural difference between those pieces of hair. In alpaca wool, these only protrude around 0.3-0.4 of a micron thus a smoother and non-itchy fabric texture. Depending on the age and breed (we have Huacaya alpaca), the fibers of the processed fleece can range between 15 and 30 microns in diameter. For knitting and other craft projects, this is an enormous range which is why it is so vital to purchase from a local alpaca farm who know their herd and are familiar with the original coat that the yarn was from.

If you would like to learn more about some of the other great qualities about alpaca fiber, I did write another blog post about it last week. If you would like to check that out after this.

For those of you that are crafty but don’t have any projects you want to make or want to expand your creative horizons, make sure you keep an eye out on our workshops tab. I will be sure to announce them as class spots open but Sacred Acres Alpaca Farm is in the process of offering craft workshops for different projects that can be created with alpaca fiber such as felting soap, knitting projects, crochet groups, and fiber processing. During the farm tours, inside of our farm store you can actually see some of the machine utilize for alpaca fiber processing and alpaca roving. It is a fun experience and we would love to share our crafts with you! We would love to hear about some of the craft projects you are working on and some that you would be interested in learning more about. Make sure you leave us a comment on our facebook, instagram, or on our YouTube channel. We love our community and are so excited to see it grow and love interacting with you all. I hope you stay cool out there, don’t forget to drink water, and have a lovely weekend.