I love cold winters. It's a chance to wear what I've made using alpaca yarn!
Alpaca fiber is warmer than sheep wool, so you can use a lighter weight to produce the same result. It's also more durable.
I have a knit shrug that is incredibly lightweight and incredibly warm.
I also have a crochet hat and scarf containing some alpaca.
It's a very warm fiber, so I can only wear these items in the coldest weather.
There are two types of alpacas. Each one produces a slightly different fiber.
There are lots of natural colors available for alpaca yarn. Alpaca fiber does have some guard hair to be removed, but not as much as with llama yarn production. If the guard hairs are left in and dyed, you will see courser hairs that didn't take the dye as well.
Alpacas come from domesticated vicuñas in the Andes Mountains of South America. They were an important part of Inca culture. The fiber was used for spindle spinning with a drop spindle.
Inca women walked around doing their chores and climbing the mountains with fiber and a spindle constantly going in one hand. Children were given a spindle and fiber to play with from a very young age and became skilled spinners by the time they were teenagers. In some areas, fiber is still produced this way.