Alpaca is a camelid fiber, actually a hair. Softer than llama, it has no elasticity. Merino is a Fine wool, very soft with great elasticity that makes this yarn hold shape and not grow in length like most all camelid knit pieces.
Farm sources: the Alpaca is from two farms, Dark Star Alpacas and Springdale Alpacas in Berryville, Virginia. The Merino is primarily from Black Sheep Farm in Loudoun County, Virginia.