Knitting with Alpaca Yarn

by lakeerieartists

Alpaca yarn, made from the wool of the alpaca, is slowly becoming the most sought out fiber for knitting, crocheting, and weaving.

Alpaca yarn, made from the wool of the alpaca, is slowly becoming the most sought out fiber for knitting, crocheting, and weaving into extremely soft and comfortable clothing and accessories.

Alpaca yarn is hypoallergenic because it does not contain the lanolin that sheep's wool has, and it is very silky soft, and luxurious in feel.

Alpaca Yarn is Hypoallergenic

Alpaca yarn

Small local alpaca farms are cropping up all over the United States, and providing local communities with both hand spun, and machine spun, hand dyed alpaca yarn along with hats, gloves, scarves, and clothing made from the alpaca yarn.

Alpaca fiber that is made into yarn is known as a specialty fiber, a fine fiber that can be worn next to the skin, making it highly valuable. 

Although about 30% of American consumers are allergic to wool, those same people do not generally have adverse reactions to alpaca wool.

Alpacas in the United States

Alpacas are not native to the United States, but were brought here in 1984 for the first time.  There are two types of alpacas - the Huacaya (wha-KAI-ah) and the Suri (surrey).  Alpacas are most prized for their amazing fleece, also known as fiber, and produce one of the world's finest and most luxurious natural fibers. The demand for alpaca fiber worldwide exceeds the current supply, making alpaca fiber command 10 times the price of virgin wool. 

Alpaca fleece is as soft as cashmere and warmer, lighter and stronger than wool.  Additionally, the alpaca fiber comes in more colors than any other fiber producing animal (approximately 22 colors).

Alpacas: Pets or Investment

Alpacas are raised in the United States to be both pets, and investments. Many small farmers are also textile artists who use the alpaca wool to make beautiful clothing and tapestries. Alpacas are herd animals, so should not be raised alone. If you are interested in raising alpacas, you can find a lot of wonderful resources to read on Alpaca Meadows, a local Ohio alpaca farmer.

Alpaca Meadows has a booth at the local farmer's market in my area in Cleveland, Ohio, so I have experienced the alpaca yarns, both hand spun, and commercially spun yarns firsthand. The alpaca yarns are the softest yarns that I have ever seen, even the raw fiber is soft, and they make beautiful and very soft hands, socks, and gloves.

I have listed a few books to the right about alpacas and their care, along with a resource on working with more unusual wools including alpaca.

Alpaca Yarn Varieties

Alpaca yarn can be extremely expensive.  The yarn is in high demand, therefore can be sold at a higher price than many other yarns.  However, the yarn is worth the price, especially if you are knitting a special piece or something for anyone with sensitive skin or a child.

Much of the alpaca yarn that is available in the United States is hand dyed, and some is also hand spun.  These yarns are often used by textile and fiber artists, to make clothing that is wearable art, unique, one of a kind pieces.

When you shop for alpaca yarn, it is so hard not to just pick up the yarn and hug it, because of the softness of the yarn.  And the hand dyed colors are simply gorgeous.

Misti Alpaca Lace Weight Yarn

Misti Alpaca Lace Weight Yarn: Montego Bay **New Color**

Misti Alpaca Lace - perfect for any lace project.

Only $5.99
Misti Alpaca Lace Weight Yarn: Gypsy Lips **New Color**

Misti Alpaca Lace - perfect for any lace project.

Only $7.95
Misti Alpaca Lace Weight Yarn: Natural White

Misti Alpaca Lace - perfect for any lace project.

Only $7.95

Misti Alpaca Chunky Alpaca Yarn

Misti Alpaca Chunky Hand Paints - #CP03 Hyacinth

Misti Alpaca Hand Paints Chunky Baby Alpaca Yarn -

Misti Alpaca Hand Painted Sock Yarn - #03 Birds in Paradise

Misti Hand Paint Sock Yarn blends superfine alpaca

Only $22.95
Misti Alpaca Chunky Hand Paints - #CP12 Jazz

Misti Alpaca Hand Paints Chunky Baby Alpaca Yarn -

Only $22.95

Alpaca Yarn on Amazon

I was actually surprised at how much 100% alpaca yarn I was able to find on Amazon, because of the rarity of the alpaca yarn. However, there are some excellent brands on Amazon, and if you search carefully, you can find some colors that are being discontinued, so that means you will get an even better price.

This is an excellent opportunity to snatch up some alpaca yarn, and keep it for making Christmas gifts, or baby shower gifts. I actually saw the cutest baby booties, and baby hats made out of alpaca wool this morning, and they are the perfect gift because you don't have to worry about skin sensitivities.

As you can see the alpaca yarns come in several weights, and numerous colors. The Misti Alpaca yarn is very reasonable in price for alpaca, and right now several of the colors are being discontinued. Don't miss this wonderful buy.

Misti Alpaca Hand Dyed Worsted Yarn Review Video

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky Yarn Review Video

Updated: 02/10/2015, lakeerieartists
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dustytoes on 11/14/2011

I have used Alpaca yarn and it is beautiful and soft. We have a few farms here in my area of New Hampshire and something called the "Wool Arts Tour" that takes place in the fall. One of the farms I visited was an Alpaca farm. They are very cute animals.

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