Finally got a couple skeins done of the Alpaca/Dusty/Blue Faced Leicester. Thought you might like a peek:
Back in January I finished the BFL handpainted roving and I remember not liking the magpie nature of the other handpainted singles that I Navajo plied. So I sampled it with some pure black alpaca (back on 5/25/2011 in Next Up... Alpaca!)
I finished maybe a quarter of a bobbin of the pure alpaca and decided I was tired of all the drifting apart, it was forcing me to spin singles heavier than I really wanted for this yarn.
Having just washed Dusty's fleece, a lightbulb lit in my brain (don't worry, there wasn't too much smoke) and I decided to blend the two fibers and see what the result would be - sure couldn't be any worse to spin!
Those two up above are the blended plies - the smaller one has one ply of the pure alpaca and one ply of the 50/50 blend. Visually, they are identical. You might be able to enlarge the pictures enough to tell the difference, but I really doubt that I'd let someone close enough to me to do that kind of visual inspection of any finished garment of this yarn!
These new singles are a lot more fun to spin, I can draft in my usual way and spin it up as fine as I want. No slipping, no drifting apart and lovely fine singles so that the three ply finished yarn will be more like fingering or DK weight when it is finished. Best yet, this is some of the softest yarn I've ever spun. The fine wool and the alpaca seem to be made for each other!