Working With Bumps

alpacabumpsHave you seen the “bumps” of alpaca rug yarn that seem to be popular at fiber fairs and events?  Some are all alpaca, others have cotton or rayon blend cores.  (These cotton-cored alpaca bumps are from Las Flores del Altiplano Alpacas in southern Washington state.) I added several bumps of Las Flores alpaca rug yarn to my stash.

ramsheadbumpsLast month I met Tracylyn Robertson of Ram’s Head Station at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival; her small basket of rug ramsheadbumps2yarn (cotton-cored Icelandic wool), caught my eye.  Of course I just had to buy some, but she didn’t have enough of the color I wanted.

A few days later I drove out to Ram’s Head Station to buy icelandic_blackrug yarn.  I also got to meet her sheep.  Meet Dot, a particularly friendly Icelandic sheep!

Strolling through the last couple of fiber gatherings I’ve attended, I’ve had the opportunity to see what people are doing with such bumps of yarn.

At the Black Sheep Gathering last June, I watched an alpaca breeder demonstrate how to “hand crochet” a rug using her bumps.  Hmmm … the resulting rug looked okay but given the vast amount of space between the loops, it was not destined to wear well (and certainly provided too many opportunities to get a toe caught in a loop).  I decided to these bumps would be better put to use in tightly packed into a woven rug.

I also visited the booth of a vendor selling alpaca rug yarn along with what might have been the biggest (in diameter) knitting needles I had ever seen.  Her rug yarn and needles flew off her shelf, but my wrists ached just thinking of what it would be like to knit or crochet with that yarn and those needles or an equally large crochet hook!

I was happy to finally stumble across another Black Sheep vendor who was showing rugs he had woven from alpaca bumps.  Hmmmm … definitely not a tight enough pack (I could easily poke my fingers through), and it clearly had not been woven under a tight tension.

At OFFF I browsed through the alpaca-created wares of another breeder.  Oh dear, the woven rug on display (and for sale) was worse (in technical structure), than the similar woven rug I saw at Black Sheep.

I am very pleased with the many bumps of rug yarns I purchased from Las Flores and Ram’s Head.  From perusing what others have made – and how – from similar yarns, I have a good sense what not to do.  The bumps I selected are destined to be woven into tightly packed rugs. 

Have you ever worked with a similar bulky rug yarn?

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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7 Responses to Working With Bumps

  1. Ah! Mea culpa. Thickness/diameter may be similar (it is with the alpaca bumps and the Icelandic wool bumps I have), but the density differs.

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  2. Pia says:

    The Texel IS the wool, it’s a sheep breed. 😉 I was wondering about the surface of a regular twoply compared to the corespun, density etc. if you imagine the two yarns to have the same thickness visually.

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  3. I really enjoy working with your alpacas’ fiber! 🙂

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  4. I’m unsure of the question: Do you mean to spin a wool around the textel?

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  5. Pingback: BUMPS! Via The Sweaty Knitter – Crafted

  6. Marit says:

    Thank you!!! I so appreciate your kind words!
    The rugs you’ve made from our yarn are gorgeous… I know you have many choices, and I’m honored that you enjoy our yarns. 🙂
    I’m updating our Etsy store… and there will be more alpaca rug bumps there soon. The site is AlpacaArtisan https://www.etsy.com/shop/ALPACAARTISAN?ref=hdr
    Marit
    Las Flores del Altiplano Alpacas

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  7. Pia says:

    I haven’t, but I’m now wondering if that’s what I should do to some texel roving I have, which was meant for weaving with the unspun ropes, but after a trial I decided I didn’t like that and meant to spin a really fat yarn instead. From what you’ve seen, would it give a firmer surface to corespin it like this? (if it’s woven properly)

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