What is alpaca?
Alpaca fiber is much like wool, although there are differences. It’s warm and soft like wool, and it has wool’s absorbency (good for socks). It can suck up moisture and hold it, leaving the wearer’s feet warm and dry. Alpaca is also strong, it resists wear and tearanother good quality in a sock yarn. However, unlike wool, alpaca fiber has fewer ‘scales’* to rough up the surface. Hence, it has a luster that many wools lack. It’s also a dry fiber; there’s no lanolin to worry about if you’re one of the folks who reacts to lanolin in wool. On its own, however, alpaca lacks elasticity, a necessary ingredient in a good sock yarn. So we added a bit of wool for elasticity and bounce, and nylon for even more strength and durability. NoAlpaca Sox isn’t a superwash, but I can vouch for the fact that thrown in the washer with the rest of your laundry, Alpaca Sox socks will only mellow. Just sort them out before throwing the rest of your clothes in the dryer. Lay them out to dry over the shower rod and you’ll find them even softer and more lustrous than before their bath.
*For more on scales, alpaca, and knitting fibers in general, see Clara Parkes’ book The Knitters Book of Yarn (Potter Craft, 2007), reviewed in Web Letter #14.
Which Classic Elite yarns contain alpaca?