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Natural Gradient Alpaca Shawl Kit

July 12, 2018

For some time now, quietly and slowly, I’ve been developing a series of spinning kits that I hope will make local fibres more accessible to spinners. I will be releasing my first kit at the Artisans Textile Festival in Bendigo 20-22 July.

The Natural Gradient Alpaca Shawl Kit celebrates the wonderful natural colours of local alpaca. This kit contains all the fibre you need to make a beautiful ombre shawl. The fibre has been picked, washed, weighed, blended and drum carded to create five graded batts from rusty chocolate to soft almond, with nothing left to do except enjoy your spinning.

One of things that can put spinners off alpaca is the giant bags of fleece that you can end up with. If you want to work with colour, there are multiple bags and voluminous amounts of fleece to contend with plus significant wastage, washing and sorting.  It can be overwhelming for someone who just wants to give alpaca a try. It is my hope that kits such as these can enable spinners to try a variety of local fibres in a supported, accessible way.

To guide your spinning efforts and ensure you end up with a useful yarn, the kit is accompanied by a handy booklet that contains information about alpaca fibre, provenance, spinning tips and even a guide to choosing the perfect knitting pattern.

There’s space to write down notes about your yarn so you can remember what you did for next time.  There are simple guidelines for spinning the alpaca as well as specific technical information about the yarn I spun, so whether you are an intuitive spinner or a tech nerd, you will find your sweet spot with this kit.

I knit up a small sample with only 100g but the kit contains more fibre, so the shawl would be bigger too. I used Evelyn Clark’s Shetland Triangle with the alpaca spun into a 2 ply woollen fingering weight. The drape, the slow fade and the open lace are just scrumptious. Details of the shawl are also on Ravelry.

If you are a maker concerned about your environmental impact, please be assured that all the alpaca in these kits is local to Victoria, has been processed in-house (literally!) in Ballarat and and contains no dyes/bleach/treatments of any kind other than biodegradable, earth-safe detergent. All the fibre waste from these kits is recycled into dog beds by another maker. The carbon footprint is low.

The Artisans Textile Festival runs in conjunction with the Australian Sheep and Wool Show weekend. It’s located at the North Bendigo Bowls Club, just a couple of minutes away from the Showground itself, with a host of textile vendors. You will find my kits on the My Spin on Things stall, a wonderland of fibre supplies. I will be there in person on the Saturday.

Perhaps I will see you there?

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  1. What a wonderful resource for spinners! A great idea and I hope you have a wonderful time at the festival.

    If I was not on a different continent, you would definitely see me there. x

  2. Such a generous offering. I wish I could be there to purchase one, knowing the care & consideration that has been packaged into these kits.

  3. This is such a lovely idea, Rebecca – and I speak as one who still has bags and bags of unsorted alpaca sitting round, so I know exactly how daunting a whole fleece can be. Would that I could be there in Bendigo to handle a kit in person!

  4. Congratulations on your new venture, Rebecca!! I’m so happy your health and stamina are returning more each day and allowing you to have the wonderful life you so richly deserve.

  5. WOW. What an absolutely beautiful project. Its bound to be very popular! Great alpaca colors and Evelyn Clark pattern.

  6. I think your gradient alpaca batt package is brilliant for all the reasons you wrote- and it’s pretty! Wise spinners in your area should snatch these up!

    Alas, I am a bit far away (12,000 miles; what is that in km?) to shop environmentally.

  7. OH, what an incredible amount of work and thought went into these kits! Am sure you will sell out!! Perfect pattern for this ombre mix…..pine cones, just delightful. Huzzah for you 🙂

  8. Wow – congratulations on this venture Rebecca! It sounds so yummy it makes me want to spin…almost…

  9. How absolutely glorious! I would snap one of these up in a heartbeat if I wasn’t allergic to alpaca.

    I have to pick up a few things from the My Spin on Things stall next Saturday, so I’ll see you there.

  10. Wow. What an excellent project and beautiful resource kit for spinners and knitters. I love the soft transition of the colours in the shawl.

  11. Oh my goodness, Rebecca! Your shawl kits are amazing and I have knit that shawl pattern and it is lovely. Sending you hugs for your already successful endeavor (just creating the kits is a treasure for spinner/knitters). Good luck on the sale and meeting new friends at the show. Joanie

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