Handspinning Alpaca

Are you into hand spinning? Me too! I have an Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel (pictured above) on which I learned to spin and I love it. I have also owned a Majacraft Suzie Pro spinning wheel, an Ashford Traditional wheel , a Louet Spinning S51 spinning wheel, an Ashford Elizabeth wheel and a Majacraft Millie – below:

In case you are wondering who needs 6 wheels, I used to teach handspinning and I thought it was very important for new handspinners to try out as many different wheels as possible.  Most of my students were other alpaca breeders. 

Handspinning is a very popular hobby here in the US and also worldwide. Alpaca fiber is wonderful to spin. And you don’t have to wash the fleece in hot soapy water 10 or 20 times like you do with sheep’s wool. Alpaca contains no grease. And don’t believe it when you’re told that 100% alpaca has no crimp! Most Huacaya alpaca fleeces DO have good crimp. I know this because I make and wear my own hand spun alpaca products.

For more on fiber preparation, handspun yarns and products and other alpaca fiber related topics, go back to the fiber page and follow the links from there.

Wraps per inch conversion chart for hand spun yarns:

Yarn TypeLopi/BulkyChunkyAranKnitting WorstedDouble KnittingSport4-Ply Fingering3-Ply Baby
Wraps per Inch5 to 678911121416 to 18

Chart, brazenly stolen from the website of : Yarn Forward !

If you have never done one of these conversions, use either a Sett Gauge (pictured below) or just use a plain, old ruler.  A lot of spinners cut out a 1-inch interval on a wooden ruler to do these handspun yarn size conversions, but you can also just mark 1 inch on a piece of cardboard.