Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weaving With Alpaca




I love alpaca! And at this year's Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I purchased some alpaca yarn with the intention of weaving a scarf for my father for Christmas. I was a bit leery about weaving with it because I've heard many stories of how difficult alpaca can be - it has no memory, so you must be careful otherwise it won't bounce back - it will stay stretched. Also if you stretch it too much you could pull the yarn to shreds.

I had luck. Well, some luck.

I used just enough tension to be able to weave the scarf off and not one broken warp thread! Whew!!! But, it did stretch. One would think the whole warp would stretch the same, right? I guess my tension was not 100% perfect as the left side of the warp stretched to the point of being loose while the rest of the warp was just right. How to fix this issue? Weights? I guess not. The problem was this loose side just kept stretching under the tension of the weights. The solution? Stop weaving - finish the scarf - call it a day!

The scarf itself is quite attractive. Not as long as I had planned, but not bad either. I think dad will enjoy the fact that he won't have to wrap it around his neck 5 times (alpaca is so, so warm)! Off the loom it measures 55" x 10 7/8", not including fringe.

I used an 8 dent reed, sleyed at 16epi.

On my way now to finish the fringe and then pop it into a cool Eucalan bath (I think I'll skip the washer for this one).

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