Weekend Finishing Alpaca Scarf

Well… my first raw fiber to finished scarf project is Inky Dinky Done…  (I am not being cute… or maybe I am..,)   Inky Dinky Do is the name of the Alpaca who offered its hair so I could make this scarf.

If you are not familiar with this project there are earlier posts! (you don’t have to go to these… this post will have cliff notes)

  1. Weekend with a Llama (Inky Dinky Do… actually an Alpaca)
  2. Avocado Dye and Inky Dinky Do
  3. Weekend Carding Alpaca (Inky Dinky Do)
  4. Weekend spinning the rolags (Inky Dinky Do alpaca fibers)
  5. Weekend Knitting (Manly… Knitting)

Scarf 03

This all began when a wonderful person (CLAIRE Small Holding Dreams) and a wonderful alpaca (Inky Dinky Do – I wished I could hug inky! )  sent me a gift of alpaca fibers. Those fibers left their home in England and travelled across the Atlantic to end up in Utah (where the heck is that) USA.   Can you imagine the trepidation and excitement those fibers must have experienced?

After enjoying many hours (more than I could have imagined… I probably should say days) the fibers have decided it is time to return home.   I said my goodbyes and sent them on their way.  I know that the fibers have dramatically changed during their time with me.  I hope that change is for the better.   I would love to see Inky Dinky’s face… not even sure they are going to be recognized.

Scarf 12

I created a “souvenir” box for those fibers.   It is fun to see that actual transformation from unwashed fibers all the way to knitted 2 ply yarn.  I actual really like this box.  It makes one wonder about the origin of this simple but amazing process.  Who was this person?…  who looks at a sheep (or alpaca) and says.. hmm I think I could make clothes out of them.   Do you think they talked about it before they did it?  I would have loved to listen to that conversation…  “hey… you know what?  I bet if I shaved that animal, twisted its fur, then tied it in knots… I could make cool sweaters, socks, gloves, and scarfs…. (he/she wouldn’t have said pants cause everyone knows knitted pants are weird)

I would like to share pictures from the beginning to the ending of my “scarf” journey.  (Maybe less words… I imagine I have already used up most of your patience…with my odd fiber voyage story)

llama-fleece-0
Fibers just arrived… and unpacked… and Ben not hiding his disappointment
llama-fleece-8
First washed batch!
avocado-dye-8
Dyed pink using avocado pits
carding-alpaca-10
Carded and ready to be spun
spinning-alpaca-08
YARN!
knitting 3
Knitting…  I had to learn how to… 
Scarf 11
More Yarn! (natural color)
Scarf 10
more… knitting
Scarf 08
more dyeing, carding, and spinning
Scarf 07
and more yarn… I had no idea how much yarn a scarf takes….
Scarf 04
Knitting is DONE!!!
Scarf 01
Every handmade scarf needs a “custom” label… got this done at Wunderlabel…  and that is A.S.H… not an “A” followed by 2 “S”s… (the letters ash are my initials… ) 
Scarf 02
Label is now sewed on and the scarf is ready to be sent home!!!

All you are missing is me sending it off at the post office.  (almost took a picture but people were watching… ).   I calculated the time for the entire process… and … (please no mocking) this scarf took me 1 hour and 55 minutes per linear inch (2.5 cm).  I think I am horribly slow…

My fiber and wool adventures are not finished.  Claire also sent me wool… (Jacob Wool).  I am anxious to make something out of it… and yes… you can count on me boring you with the details as soon as I decide what I will be making with it.  I wonder if I can increase my throughput?….   maybe a spinning wheel instead of a drop spindle?

Thanks for taking the time to look/read this post.

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37 thoughts on “Weekend Finishing Alpaca Scarf”

  1. Looks amazing Ash-not-to-be-confused-with-a.s.*.!! I love alpacas, always wanted an alpaca scarf (and alpaca almost everything else). I wonder if you like to accept weird gifts and turn them into something functional…
    The label is awfully cute too, what’s with the hedgehog??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am totally in awe of you – what an amazing journey and learning experience – thank you for sharing how you did it. You have inspired me to give it a go – maybe sometime next year when I am only working part-time at the day job. When I see how much work is involved with turning fleece into clothes I am even more impressed that people do it. I am with you on wondering how people ever discovered this – and cakes – who decided you could mix flour, sugar and fat and eggs together and then bake it to make cake.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am …… I am rushing off now to let Inky Dinky Do know ….. she will, I think, be suitably impressed 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We sometimes forget how brilliant people can be… (no matter what time period they were born in). If anyone could do all of this.. it would be you. It is long… but not tedious… even spinning the fibers. On a side note… I have always played with the idea of making a wool sweater… (very large) and put it back on a sheep… think it would make for very cool art project. Hadn’t thought about a scarf on an alpaca…

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  3. I really like the scarf. I guarantee people would be suitably impressed if you told them you had washed the fleece, dyed, spun and plied the fibre, and finally knitted it up. I’ll also guarantee some people will wonder whether you’re in need to psychiatric treatment (those Muggles!)

    As for getting a wheel, if you really like spinning, I say absolutely go for it. It’s a lot faster, you can easily create other types of yarn (art yarn!) and it’s also great relaxation after a stressful day. I’d be very happy to help you narrow down your choices if you decide to buy one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Leonor… you have always been so helpful.. wished we were neighbors… (although I think you would be sick of me asking you so many questions). My kids have kind of gotten into it.. .although they want me to do it… (they just want a scarf). Last of all… darn it…I already ordered a wheel… (hope I did ok…) here is a link let me know what you think (love the idea that it is homemade) https://www.etsy.com/listing/109233399/cassandra-spinning-wheel-package?ref=hp_rv (it comes with bobbins and a “lazy kate”… new term for me this week… )

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  4. You are the antithesis of Rumpelstiltskin–and worth more than your weight in gold…to think you went to all that time and expense (including blood sweat and tears…and some jeers? I hope not!!!) And, what remains is so wonderful….such a lovely, lovely scarf…Alpaca sure makes for beautiful wool…I could see how wonderful it must feel. And, as ever, your narrative is the icing and top layer of your multi-layered offerings. You are a marvel…thanks for sharing, my friend 🙂

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  5. Thanks for sharing this incredible fiber journey! It’s incredible to think that this process is how it used to be done; it looks very labour intense. The subtle colour changes in the scarf are lovely; it’s a beautiful garment. What a great touch, too, with the personalized label. Wishing you more epic fiber adventures!

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  6. The Alpaca fiber is actually a challenge to spin well as it is very slippery. You will find, I think, that the sheep’s wool is easier to spin, but it won’t be as soft and silky, so you may not want to make it into something that goes around your neck. If only moderately scratchy, it might make a good hat or maybe a pair of mittens. If more suited for rug yarn (as was the fiber from one of my Shetlands), consider weaving with it and making it into placemats or perhaps a table runner or pillow sham.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The souvenir box is a brilliant idea! It reminds me of museum displays and perfectly illustrates the process used to take fleece & make a finished object. Your finished scarf is beautiful – I love the gradient effect you’ve got going on – and those labels are quite snazzy! Huzzah!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow! You do the coolest stuff! I am so impressed with your patience and the skill and dedication you put into creating that wonderful scarf. Well done! (Seriously, next time get the post office pic. We need to see the WHOLE process) 😉

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  9. I enjoyed reading your fiber journey posts. I have missed why you sent the scarf back once knitted. Very interesting for your kids…you do some fun, interesting things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Debbie. The fibers were a very generous gift and I felt that I should return in kind. In my strange mind there was also something special about something traveling so far away and then returning back to its origin in a different state… kind of a human projection on to the fibers… a sweet “homecoming” after a long journey. (I know weird)

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  10. I love that beautiful scarf you made, especially the colouring.

    A friend who has 2 alpacas has just recently knitted me the most amazing jacket from her alpaca fleece. I refer to it as my Montana jacket after the alpaca who kindly donated the fleece. It really is such a gorgeous warm fibre.

    Not only are alpacas brilliant for their useful fleece, but we also collect the manure from another friends alpacas for our large gardens here south of Sydney.

    Liked by 1 person

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