With this autumnal weather it seems appropriate to be thinking of warm woolly things.
I picked up some alpaca wool the other day and decided to try it layered with some of the merino wool. It is a different texture to the merino. Not sure if it's clear in this picture, but the fibre in the lower left is the alpaca wool, the darker in the top right is merino. To me, the merino feels fluffier but with shorter fibre length. The alpaca is lovely and soft and has a longer fibre length.
I purchased the alpaca wool from Craftworld. I really love this marketing ploy - a photo of the alpaca from which the fibre came from! Very sweet.
I started with the merino layer. I wanted to see if the wool "prickle factor" would be decreased if I mixed the fibre. Not sure that it does but I've yet to try felting just the alpaca. Merino's prickle factor isn't too bad for me but others find it uncomfortable.
Here it is with the alpaca layer. The rovings for the alpaca were very fine.
I found felting the two fibres wasn't as simple as using solely merino. It took a while for the alpaca to felt and fuse with the merino. In fact I was starting to get concerned that I might have two separate layers happening. But after working on some areas more vigorously it did finally merge. The alpaca fibre did seem to make the over all effect more fluffy than I expected. I think it would be better if the two were carded together rather than placed in layers perhaps.
Here is DH modeling it for me. I gave it to my Dad since he wears scarves. I like the embellishment on this one - simple but effective. It reminds me of stones that you see on the beach or some streams that have stripes of different minerals in them.
Then I decided to make MIL a scarf for mother's day. Here it is laid out before wetting.
And after being felted. With a felt flower on a pin for decoration. So tempting to keep it for myself.
I also made one for my Mum.
Close up of the silk chiffon embedded in the scarf.
Hoping to attempt some 3D stuff soon.