Alpaca Direct Offers Spinning Equipment

By KELLEY HOBART

The art of hand spinning yarn has been around for thousands of years and recently has made a resurgence among fiber arts enthusiasts who yearn to take their knitting projects back to the very source they originated from. Hand spinning is the art of twisting fiber, fleece, or roving of wool, silk, alpaca, angora, mohair, etc. into a continuous thread by using a spinning wheel or drop spindle. Both methods let you transform your raw fiber into a spun yarn you can then craft into a unique knitting or crochet project.

Many people learn how to spin fiber on a drop spindle since this method is very economical and also is a great way to get kids started in the craft. We posted a YouTube video on this technique and have had over 195,000 people watch and learn online from one of our instructors. (Our Channel with over 20 free videos is "Alpaca Direct" on YouTube). As you experience spinning on your own, you will be taking a step back in time to when the rhythm of life was a little simpler and results of your work on a project was easier to see and enjoy.
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Living on our Alpaca ranch, we had the opportunity to experience the full circle of life when it came to fiber. It began with breeding and raising the alpacas then shearing them once a year for our annual harvest of Alpaca fiber. Through this process it was apparent that the quality of fiber was a direct result of the care we gave the Alpacas throughout the year as their health had a huge impact on the fiber quality. After shearing we skirt, clean and card (straighten) the fibers so they are ready to be spun into yarn. Each spring our staff at Alpaca Direct spends a few days out in the sunshine next to our warehouse skirting the fiber from the latest shearing as they participate in the transformation of fleece to spinning fiber and yarn.

In addition to the fiber from our ranch we sell a large variety of Rovings (fibers ready to spin) in our store and on our website. We currently carry one of the largest selections in the USA with over 130 colors available in Merino wool, Corriedale, Alpaca, Silk and even exotic fibers like Yak. We also have a great selection of drop spindles and spinning wheels available for crafters who want to take spinning to the next level.

Spinning can also be a great craft to share with kids. If you want to create your own colors you can dye it yourself with Koolaid or RIT dye available at the supermarket. We taught our daughter how to spin when she was 11 years old and she has enjoyed the craft ever since often spinning up a new yarn while watching a TV show in the evenings. Spinning has also been incorporated into classroom curriculums where teachers have taught kids how to spin and then let them spin away during lectures. This approach engages the kids hand, eye, foot coordination and incorporates both sides of their brain. The results are still coming in however some teachers showed improved learning and retention around the material covered while teaching using this method.

We hope you get the chance learn the art of hand spinning yarn while taking a step back in time when the cadence of life was a little simpler.

In case you have not heard about us, Alpaca Direct is a direct merchant of high quality yarn, apparel, gifts and socks. We stock a full line of fiber art accessories, including hundreds of needles and thousands of yarns. Our unique selection of products also includes Peruvian alpaca sweaters, hand-loomed lace scarves, performance alpaca socks, cuddly alpaca teddy bears and unique international jewelry.

Our building is handicap accessible, with ample parking and is easy to find. We are located on Hayden Avenue, just two blocks west of Highway 95 at 1016 W. Hayden Ave. in Hayden.

Our Alpaca fiber experts are on call 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday. Visit us at 1016 W. Hayden Ave. or online at www.AlpacaDirect.com - your local destination for luxury yarn, apparel and gifts. "Like" us on Facebook and Yelp for exclusive coupons, product spotlights and news.