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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've tried doing a search on this without success, so...what's alpaca? And if someone is allergic to wool, would they have the same reaction? I'm knitting a scarf for my SIL that is 80% baby alpaca and 20% silk. I think it's incredibly soft, but she's picky
: I'd like to be able to tell her that she's nuts if she thinks it's itchy :LOL TIA!
 

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Alpaca is an animal similar to a llama, but smaller.

I've heard that some people with allergies to animals don't have a problem with alpaca, but I've not had a chance to test that idea on myself.

Itchy isn't about softness anyway, it's about the allergic reaction.

I had an incredibly soft wool sweater when I was in high school, cashmere?, but I most assuredly wore something between myself and the sweater lest I itch to the point of craziness. This allergy truly sucks, but you deal with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info...and Meiri, I really didn't mean to imply that an allergy to wool is no big deal. I can only imagine how uncomfortable that would be! I'm hoping alpaca/silk will not be a problem. Thanks again!
 

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Hi, Alpacas are related to the llama and their hair isn't refered to as wool. I am guessing that a wool allergy doesn't necessarily = an alpaca allergy since they are different but there is still a chance.
Cashmere is from goats as is mohair and eople are allergic to those as well.

HTH!
 

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some fibers are just itchy. I don't think it's only about allergy. I have a 100% wool scarf that makes me itch to high heaven. And yet my other 100% wool clothes don't bother me a bit. The thing is, that scarf that makes me itch has the texture of...fiberglass. It's awful. I don't know what I was smoking when I bought it!!! But if the scarf feels soft and fluffy then it probably won't bother her. (Unless she has an allergy to it) (which is unlikely)
 

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I do have a slight reaction to alpaca...when I first knit it my wrists and neck became itchy. BUT I learned a trick...I put it in the freezer for an hour and it doesn't bother me anymore...freezing it helps the little flyaway fibers stick to the yarn and not me. Now I am 100% OK around it as long as it's been frozen once.

The editor of knitty.com is allergic to wool
: can you imagine??? I mean, I am a hard-core knitter but I'd have to find another hobby if I had to give up my wool...

You know what's REALLY cool...felted alpaca...my LYS owner made a pair of felted mittens and they are the yummiest thing. I am definitely making a pair.

Allison
 

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Mmmm...felted alpaca. That sounds like an awesome idea...what yarn did she use?

I just made a scarf for my SIL with an alpaca blend. I gotta say really nice stuff to work with and (since I of course tried the scarf on
) very warm.
 

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My BIL got me an alpaca long skirt from Peru/Chile somewhere that I can't remember! It's very nice and soft and pretty! I don't know too much about it but I know that it doesn't have all the benefits of wool as far as using it for a diaper cover/soaker!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AdinaL
Mmmm...felted alpaca. That sounds like an awesome idea...what yarn did she use?

I just made a scarf for my SIL with an alpaca blend. I gotta say really nice stuff to work with and (since I of course tried the scarf on
) very warm.
She used Indecieta Baby Alpaca DK doubled. They are gorgeous and soooooo soft. I want a bed spread made outta this stuff...

hallesmom: I can think of a few reasons that alpaca would make a poor soaker...alpaca has a short staple length so it would get pulled out of shape easily. Alpaca is too warm for a soaker...it is suppossed to be the warmest natural fiber. AND it can have a funky smell when it gets wet. I nearly gagged blocking an alpaca scarf recently...smells fine when dry though
.

Allison
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey, thanks for all the responses! I do feel better about giving this scarf to her. It's sooooooo soft (Debi Bliss!) I just remembered something too. My SIL likes to borrow a coat of mine. It's 73% wool/ 7% cashmere. So, I'm thinking it's not that she's allergic to wool (she couldn't be, right?) but, she just itches when she wears the itchy kind of wool.
I do too.
I seriously want to try felting alpaca! So, does it need to be 100% alpaca? Can it be a blend?
Alliwenk, about blocking the scarf, what did it do? Does it make it look more uniform? I'm still new to all this...
 

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Blocking evens out your stitches and lets you make your project the size that you want it to be. It is essential to the finished look. Here's my alpaca scarf after blocking:

Alpaca Scarf

Before I blocked it it was a rumpled curling mass. I am a fan of wet blocking...misting or steaming doesn't seem to even things out well enough.

Allison
 

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Often, when people are allergic to wool, they are allergic to the processing methods or the lanolin. Alpaca is easier to process than wool and is lanolin-free so a lot of people who have serious allergies can use it without a problem.
I love alpaca. I have some here, waiting to be spun and I just can't do it. I just pet it.
 
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