We're often asked what the difference is between Alpacas and Llamas. Both llamas and alpacas are south american camelids and they are related but definitely not the same. In addition to these camelids, in South America there are also Vicunas and Guanacos but for this article we'll just be comparing Alpacas and Llamas.
Here are 6 quick ways to tell the difference between an Alpaca and a Llama.
1. Size - Llamas are much larger than alpacas often weighing up to 400 pounds. Alpacas are smaller, normally weighing between 120 and 150 pounds. This was something we considered when we started our alpaca ranch since we had younger children and we felt alpacas would be easier to handle. That said, we have known other ranches that had both alpacas and llamas and the llamas were very sweet and the owners had no issues with having the these larger animals on their ranch. Likewise, we've had some male alpacas that were quite feisty and we always made sure our children were closely supervised when they were around them.
2. Ears - Alpacas have straight, pointed ears while Llamas have long banana shaped ears.
3. Face - Alpacas have cute, blunt nose faces, normally with a lot of fur. Llamas have longer noses and much less fur on their face.
4. Personality - Alpacas are shy herd animals and stick together when threatened by a predator. Llamas are independent and more confident when threatened. This is why you may hear of alpaca ranchers having a 'Guard llama' to protect their alpaca herd. The llama will live peacefully with the alpacas and protect them if threatened by a predator.
5. Fiber - Alpaca has fine, soft fiber, normally 18-30 microns. This fiber is excellent for alpaca garments like shawls, hats and socks. Llama fiber is more coarse, normally 50-65 microns and not as suitable for garments. One exception is baby llama fiber which can be very soft and below 30 microns so it has a similar feel to alpaca.
6. Purpose - Alpaca have been bred for 1000's of years for their fine fleece. Llamas are work animals bred as pack animals and to help guard other livestock. . Both alpacas and llamas have a place on the ranch and on the prairies and both fulfil their roles well.
We love alpaca for the wonderful garments we can produce with it. That is why we work with our suppliers in Peru to bring you the finest alpaca socks and apparel at the most reasonable prices. Hence, our name...Alpaca Direct!
Here's a quick video where Kelley describes some our our alpaca apparel and socks.
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We've been seeing faux-fur pom poms everywhere lately—they're so cute! They add a touch of chic to any knit hat pattern.
Shop owner Kelley figured out how to make faux-fur pom poms at home, easily and inexpensively, with faux fur from the fabric store and items she had around the house. She's so clever.
Here's a video of the process.
I discovered the Norrland Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to take on the challenge. I love the trees and snowflakes, and I have never done colorwork and cables at the same time. Since I love learning new things, I bought the pattern immediately and cast on.
I made some modifications, including turning the hat into a slouch instead of a beanie, and I wanted to explain those in case you want to modify your project, too.
Hats are the knitting trifecta: small projects that are useful and make great gifts. You can most hats done in a short time, and many are one-skein wonders.
Here is a variety of free hat patterns, from beanies to slouches to earflap hats, that are guaranteed to suit your gift-knitting needs this season and for years to come.
Note: Please use the following sizing chart for general reference only. Sizes between different vendors and manufacturers may vary. Please match your measurements to those in the size chart below.