Q: How many alpacas does it take to make a sweater?
A: None. Alpacas can't knit.
Haa haa. We might say that joke at the farm a lot. But to be honest this sweater took 9 alpacas to make! I didn't use their entire fleeces but I did use part of their fleeces.
The main gray color is from my alpaca Dom's Blue Moon of ELK "Blue".
The rose gray yarn is from: Smoke, Sooshi, Bates
FDA Bisturi's Royal Rose Blush "Shoosi"
Arrow Acres Mr. Bates "Mr. Bates"
Bates gets two pictures in honor of Downton Abbey beginning back!
The white yarn is from Treasure & Lily.
The bay black yarn is from Ono, Bocote and Star.
Arrow Acres Bocote "Bocote"
Cayuga Star "Star"
Put them all together and you get a Rose & Cross Pullover! I made quite a few modifications from the pattern. Mostly for the fit. I made the notes of my modifications on my Ravelry project page.
I love how this sweater turned out! I can't complain about the colder weather because I am so excited to get to wear it.
I do get asked many times how many things I can make from one alpacas fleece. My answer usually includes these responses. From my alpaca "Blue's" one fleece so far I have made a pull over, shawl, hat and I plan on making a second large lace shawl. I think I could easily have made two sweaters.
But it is not always practical to process a single fleece. A lot of the fiber is lost on the machines. So it is better to combine fleeces to have processed at the same time to have less loss. Since Blue's fleece is sentimental to me I had it processed alone, but the fiber mill did add 10% silk to it and spun it as a 2 ply. I held the yarn double for this project.
So since it is rare we process a single fleece it is hard to get a solid answer. Also each alpacas fleece is different some alpacas produce more fiber than others, some is longer, some if finer and some is more dense. When we process their fleeces we take all of those things into consideration. When we are combining fleeces to be processed together one of the most important things is the staple length. That is the length of each fiber. That helps to keep a consistent yarn. It also helps to find a good fiber mill to process your yarn!
The pattern for this project can be found in this book.