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As I typed earlier, I ran up to Switzer-land Alpacas and purchased two shawls worth of beautiful local alpaca.

Using an old pattern from Handweavers, I put a basic lace shawl onto the loom. I actually cut enough warp to make a wider shawl but it wouldn’t fit. Ah well, now I’ve got warp ready for a scarf!

Alpaca Lace Shawl

Snapped selvage and all - it is done!

My advice on weaving alpaca:
– If you are using a floating selvage, do not use alpaca for it. Get something like a soft but sturdy (not stretchy) cotton knitting yarn. As I progressed through this shawl, the floating selvage kept stretching out of shape and being an annoyance instead of a help.

– Pull the 2 inches on the edges tighter when you’re tying up the warp. As you weave, you’re going to be banging on the edges and they’ll stretch. If you’re like me, you’ll end up propping stacks of index cards between the back beam and the warp to tighten it enough to finish weaving the length of the warp.

This is the before picture, but you can see the lace already beginning to form. Solid black warp, heathered black and gray weft. Hopefully the recipient will find it cosy and comforting!

“Comfort was allowed to come to them rare, welcome, unsought: a gift like joy.” – Ursula K. LeGuin


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