Recently I finished another handspun project. The project was a request from youngest daughter D. Her old poncho made by a friend of my wife's was getting too small and now she needed a new one.
The fleece was purchased back in February from a alpaca farm in the southern regions of holland. It was a 2008 baby alpaca fleece weighing about 400 grams. The fleece was washed, rinsed several times (4 or 5) before it was dried and "rested".
The fleece was spun over a very long period as the fleece was very short staples (1-1.5 inches max) and all the ends of the hairs still had the baby curl in them making it even harder. After many new cursewords and breaks I managed to get 2 spools with enough singles to ply and actually make something out of. I ended up with around 550 meters of 2ply 20wpi extremely soft yarn. The twist was set in hot water and the yarn rolled into a center pull ball.
Then in a period of 2 weeks I knitted a poncho from the Drops pattern into a medium size as it will give her some room to grow into. The edge was then done with a nice fluffy bit of leftover yarn to give it a nice accent.
During the washing of the garment, according to my wife gave 5 sinkfulls of black water, yuck these alpacas are dirty animals :P and their fibre holds the dirt like crazy.
With washing you get rid of a lot, during spinning there is a lot of sand that falls out, during plying more dust falls out and the final garment is still very "dirty".
In the end the poncho is extremely soft and light, she loves it which is what is most important.