I chose to wash the fleece in my washer.  I set my washer to 100 degrees, put the alpaca in several mesh bags and added Mane and Tail shampoo to the water.

After sorting, there was 0.2 lbs of fleece that i figured was unusable due to being too short.  My scale registered 0 lbs for the part of the fleece that I threw away because of dung and such.

I saw an auction on eBay for 8 plus pounds of suri alpaca fleece and won it for $47.98.  When I picked up my package at the post office, it weighed in at 8 lbs 12 oz.  

I opened it and went through it all to pick out the dung and vegetable matter.  I was surprised at how little of both there were.  Here’s what it looked like as I was sorting.

Starting a BIG project

We have a fair in my hometown every year and I learned how to use a spinning wheel there a few years ago.  Since then, I’ve got a passion for spinning, especially alpaca fiber.  I’ve never entered anything in a fair before, but have always admired the yarns and knitted things that people make.  Thus, I brainstormed a new project.  I plan on buying some alpaca fleece and chronicling the whole process of cleaning the fleece, picking it, carding it into roving, spinning and knitting it into a sweater.  So far, I’ve got some already-processed brown alpaca fleece, an off-white fleece that I’m currently processing and a slate colored fleece in the mail.  Wish me luck.