Panorama from the Farm

Introduction to Yarns

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Alpaca is generally warmer to the skin than wool, so you may want to make your garments a little lighter than a woollen equivalent.

We have three types of yarn made from the prime saddle area of our alpacas. There are balls for the knitter, cones for machine knitters and skeins in case you wish to dye some of the white alpaca. All are soft and luxurious, suitable for knitting or crochet. They are available in a variety of natural colours in huacaya and suri. All our alpaca colours are the natural colours of the fleece; we don't dye our alpaca.

If you would like to see some of our lovely yarns before buying them, and you are in the Blue Mountains on a weekend, please drop in to The House of Wool at Blackheath and ask to see Marlyn Alpaca.

Huacaya Yarns

Our huacaya alpaca is professionally spun from the best fleece, the saddle. This is done by an Australian mini mill, where it is converted from fleece into a yarn from two plied singles. Some fleeces have a more fluffy appearance than others; some would make a great Aran style cable sweater. Others are more of a soft style. Most have a lovely sheen and of course they all have that great feel of alpaca.

Huacaya alpaca yarn can be knitted using a pattern for a woollen garment, but please knit a tension square first. You may find that your garment may grow a little in length. Start with the recommended needle size for your pattern, then adjust to larger or smaller needles if required.

If you find the bands are a bit loose in alpaca, you may want to experiment with smaller needle sizes for the bands, or try a style with a rolled edge instead of a band.

Suri Yarns

Our suri alpaca is professionally spun from the best fleece, the saddle and neck combined. This is done by in the same mini mill, where it is converted from fleece into a yarn from two plied singles. Suri alpaca yarn is available for hand or machine knitting. We suggest you use a pattern designed for either silk or cotton perle. The suri alpaca tends to hang like silk, and in a knitted garment it can grow in length. Suri stretches a little, so whatever you would have done in silk should work out just fine in suri. Start with the recommended needle size for the yarn, then adjust to a larger or smaller needle if required. As before, please do a tension square. Lacy patterns tend to hang better than stocking stitch when hand knitted. For machine knitting suri, lacy patterns are ideal. Adjust the tension to suit the yarn as the 'fuzz' on the suri makes it handle more like kid mohair in the machine.

The lustre of suri is something that has to be seen to be believed. You can make some interesting effects with it. The word 'suri' refers to the silk-like properties of the fibre: drape and lustre.

We have tried to guide you by including the average micron of the yarn, and its classification (fine, medium etc) which can help you work out which yarn might work with another for colour contrast.