I've just joined this wonderful forum - saw your post and wanted to share a lovely 100% Baby Alpaca yarn I've used to make a very pretty scarf.
I purchased this yarn off the internet but felt comfortable buying it since I'd used the brand before. I agree with my fellow poster about the importance of "feeling" and seeing the yarn prior to purchasing it.
This yarn is called Baby Alpaca Indiecita and is manufactured in Peru by Michell & Co. It retails anywhere from $5.99 - $9.99 per skein but I've been fortunate to have purchased it at a price of $2.50 to $3.99 each (delivered). I believe you too could find it at the discounted price.
This particular brand has a wide assortment of fabulous colors in its line. The yarn is lightweight and delicate which beautifully lends itself to the lacey affect of this pattern. The scarf is 70" long not including the fringe and 9" wide. I used approximately 5 1/2 skeins to complete it. I used a US size 7 needle.
So, if you are looking to make a lightweight and lacey shawl this may be a good brand of baby alpaca for you. Depending on the size of the shawl you may be able to make it with 10 skeins or less.
This is the second lacey scarf I've made with the baby alpaca yarn. The first one (which unfortunately, I didn't photograph) was made with a gorgeous violet color.
I taught myself to knit and crochet nearly 3 years ago and have found it to be an art form. It's incredibly relaxing and fulfills any expression of an artistic bent I may have.
Good luck Babyduck and I hope you find the baby alpaca you need at a good price.
All the best,