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Old 03-17-2007, 10:32 PM   #1
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Bulky baby alpaca sheds! - HELP
I just finished knitting a beautiful afghan for my son using bulky baby alpaca. I noticed while I was knitting it that my clothes were covered in alpaca fibers.
I tried running it on an air dry cycle in the dryer to see if that would collect any loose fibers, but that didn't really help. After i gave it to my son, though he loved it, he noticed that it was shedding on his clothes. I had a bright idea. I hand washed the piece in luke warm water and a very mild soap, hoping to loosen and wash away the shedding fibers. After wrapping in towels to express as much moisture as i could, i blocked it on the floor. The beautiful alpaca yarn looked more like drowned rat! Another great idea. I put it in his dryer on air dry cycle and checked it every ten minutes. When i felt secure that all was going well, i left it for an additional 20 mintes to get the last of the moisture out. When i pulled it out...EEEK! Not only had it shrunk to half size, it had felted (which i didn't want) AND it was shedding even worse!

Two things i should add. This yarn was kind of expensive and i have more of it, enough to make another afghan. Does anybody have any suggestions on a way to minimize this unattractive feature of this yarn? Is there some kind of chemical or spray to treat this problem, or is it just something you have to live with? And if you have to live with it, will the shedding lessen with time?

Please help if you can.
I am a knitting addict and a yarn hoarder. I need help. ;-)
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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I have read, but don't know if it's real, that if you put the yarn in the freezer it helps the shedding. I don't know if putting the entire afghan in the freezer would help.

I've pulled my share of alpaca fibers out of my eyes when I've knit with it. It's so soft, though.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:43 AM   #3
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Cr@pola for you~!

I have knitted a cap with Debbie Bliss alpaca silk but I didn't wash it ~ i will have to remember that it can shed nastily~~

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Old 03-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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I was just wondering about this. I'm almost done knitting a sweater with alpaca that sheds like the dickens. If it continues to shed this bad I'm afraid that I won't want to wear it!

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Old 03-18-2007, 11:47 AM   #5
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Awww! It's always a shame when something like that happens. I have heard also of freezing the yarn to help with shedding. Can't remember where I read that though, I'll look around and if I can find the article again I will post it for you.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:05 PM   #6
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Oh no..that's just awful!

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Old 03-18-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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I recently finished a scarf of an alpaca blend, and it shed like mad the entire time. A friend said it may decrease shedding over time as the shorter fibers worked their way out. We'll see...

Sorry to hear about your afghan!
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:49 AM   #8
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Back when I was a teen (a gazillion years ago) we always stored our angora sweaters in plastic bags in the vegetable bin of the 'fridge. It didn't help. They still shed like mad.

But I didn't realize that alpaca did the same thing. I will avoid it like the plague. Inevitably those fuzzies get in my eyes and drive me nuts.

Sorry to hear about the blanket mishap. I'd be furious with myself if I had done that.
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