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Island Alpaca Company on Martha's Vineyard

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Island Alpaca Company on Martha's Vineyard
Island Alpaca Yarn
Shop Online > Yarn, Roving and Patterns > Island Alpaca Yarn

Island Alpaca Yarn

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Island Alpaca Yarn is one of the most precious yarns you will find. Using the Island Alpaca harvest from our spring shearing, it is spun at a mini-mill, New Hampshire, using only environmentally safe products.

This mini-mill uses a state-of-the-art fiber washer and fiber separator which is used to eliminate vegetation,  guard hair and much shorter "second-cuts" if there are any. This process increases dramatically, the "comfort-factor", optimizing the overall quality of the yarn, leave you with softest end-product available.

This alpaca fleece is available for sale in a range of natural colors. Sold in increments of 1/2 ounce. Minimum 2-1/2 ounces. Choose from Sport and worsted weights. 

Treat yourself or a friend to this wonderful, "home grown" yarn. All skeins are labeled with the name and a photograph of the alpaca that created this yarn. Hand-wash in cold water using a mild soap. Do not agitate. Do not use chlorine bleach.

Yarn Weight and Style:

Exploring the different weights of yarn, from lace to super-bulky.

To the beginning knitter it is easy to just grab whatever yarn seems to be a good weight - but quickly one can realize that if exact sizing is important, and it is all too important to learn the differences between the weight of the yarns. This is an integral part to learning how to knit or crochet, and the best way to do that is to become informed of the different varieties and sizes of yarn.

Most yarns will have the weight right on the yarn band, and some vary by specific mill. So it is important to become familiar with the weights by feel. The following list is a general guideline of the weights and needles to obtain the right gauge for a particular yarn.

Zephyr:  Very fine yarn - Weight yarn is finer than Cobweb. (See below) 

Cobweb:  40 or more wraps per inch -  6000 or more yards per pound.

Lace Weight -36 to 40 wraps per inch - 3000 to 6000 yards per pound; This is one of the smallest weight you can obtain in a yarn. As indicated by its name, it is most often used in lace patterns where you need fine intricate detail. While you can use this yarn to make other projects that aren't lace, it's not recommended as it is difficult on the eye to follow the tiny stitches.

Needle size: US 0000 - US 3 (1.25mm - 3mm).
Hook size
: US B1 and smaller (0.60mm - 1.75mm)

Fingering/ Sock Weight - 24 to 30 wraps per inch - 1800 to 2400 yards per pound; This yarn is also called baby weight, slightly thinner (30 to 36 wraps per inch - 2400 to 3000 yards per pound;) and is sometimes referred to as superfine. It's a fine yarn used to make little objects, most notably socks and items for babies. Its fine weight is great for detail as well as making small toys, such as dolls or toys.

Needle size: US 0 - 4 (2mm - 3.5mm)
Hook size
: US B1 - E4 (2.25mm - 3.5mm)

DK/Sport Weight - DK: 12 to 18 wraps per inch - 1000 to1400 yards per pound; Sport: 18 to 24 wraps per inch - 1300 to 1800 yards per pound; The DK stands for double knitting, and this can also be called fine weight, and baby weight from time to time, as it can be utilized for baby clothes as well. This is a good thin (but not too thin) yarn that can be used for stitch definition in bigger projects, like throws, cardigans, sweaters and scarves, while still being fine enough to work up into smaller projects. Note that while this yarn is a favorite for sweaters, cardigans and the like, it produces a thinner fabric not entirely suitable if you're living in the arctic and need to keep warm to survive. However it makes a beautiful evening, spring or autumn garment.

Needle size: US 3 - 6 (3.25mm - 4mm)
Hook size
: US E4 - 7 (3.5mm - 4.5mm)

Worsted Weight - 10 to 12 wraps per inch - 900 to 1100 yards per pound; This is by far one of the most common weights you will encounter, and is incredibly diverse. It makes great garments, but can also be utilized for throws, blankets, afghans, hats, scarves, mittens... and the list goes on. It's also a great sized weight to learn on, as the stitches aren't too small to see well so the learner can really learn to read the stitch.

Needle size: US 5 - 7 (3.75mm - 4.5mm)
Hook size
: US I9 - K10 ½ (5.5mm - 6.5mm)

Aran Weight 6 to 10 wraps per inch - 700 to 1000 yards per pound; It's somewhere in between worsted and bulky yarns, but is not very common in North America. Its name comes from the tradition of knitting Aran sweaters from Ireland and Scotland.

Needle size: US 5 - 8 (3.75mm - 5mm)
Hook size
: US I9 - H8 (5.5mm - 6.5mm)

Bulky/Chunky Weight - Also called craft, or rug weight. Less than 8 wraps per inch - 400 to 700 yards per pound; It is a thick yarn that works up quickly on large needles, so if you don't have hours to spend on a new scarf, this is a good choice for something thick and warm, but also fast. It can also be used to make a quick throw or blanket. (Chunky is typically heavier than Bulky)

Needle size: US 9 - 11 (5.5mm - 8mm)
Hook size
: US K10 1/3 - M13 (6.5mm - 9mm)



Phone: 508-693-5554
Location: 1 Head of the Pond Road, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
Mailing address: PO Box 1515, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

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