A friend of ours has a little grey suri alpaca by the name of Archie. Now, this friend of ours, Mark, is one of our best alpaca buddies. We all sheared on the same day, and we each helped out with each other’s animals. So even though Archie isn’t technically our alpaca, he’s family.
For instance, I know that as soon as Archie had been restrained on the shearing table, instead of tensing up and humming like most alpacas, he actually went limp like a rag doll. I can easily imagine him laying there, waiting for the end to come, convinced that his life was over and only hoping that we’d end it quickly.
Knowing this about the little goof will make spinning his fiber even more fun. Because his staple (a lock of hair) length was so long, the mill couldn’t spin it into yarn. As a hand spinner, I LOVE long staples, especially when they’ve already been washed, carded, and blended by the mill. Mark brought the entire bag of roving over, nearly three pounds of unspun awesomeness. We estimate that I’ll be able to spin 2800 yards of yarn from this bag.
It looks kind of like a big gray brain right now, doesn’t it? Anyway, it’s blended with tencel, which should give it more character. Suri yarn can be very heavy and droopy.
Edit: Alpacas come in two breeds: Suri and Huacaya. Suris have longer, silky hair while huacayas are fluffy like cottonballs.