Tag Archives: alpaca

Quarantine Sweater

So, I’m putting my socks (er… sock) in time out for a little bit.  I can’t face ripping out an entire sock, and I can’t face knitting up a second sock that I know for a fact isn’t going to fit.

I also can’t really muster up the energy to dig through my stash and match up a specific pattern to the yarn that I’ve got on hand.  That just seems like way too much effort for right now.

I do, however, have just a ton of Knit Pick’s Alpaca Cloud lace-weight yarn.  Why? I have no idea.  I think the last time I knit with lace-weight yarn was somewhere in the middle of the Obama administration.  (Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice yarn, just not what I usually reach for these days.)

But, I finished my Lovenote (which I just realized I haven’t shared with you yet!), which was knit with finer yarn held double on large needles, which gave me an idea.  I set out my stashed Alpaca Cloud in a rainbow(ish) and started swatching on US10 1/2s.  (See, I learn from my mistakes.  Sometimes.)

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I decided that holding the yarn double made fabric that was still a little too skimpy, so I tripled-up, and came up with something that was light but fluffy, cozy but drape-y.

I busted out my favorite Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd, and started on a raglan sweater.  It’s not fancy in the design; no crazy textures or lace, no weird construction, just big blocks of color.  I’m holding the yarn triple, so every block, I switch out one color, which has left me with a rather pleasant color gradient so far.

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I’d originally thought about measuring out how long the sweater was going to be and making the stripes even all the way down, but… meh.  Instead, I’m kind of just knitting until I get bored, then switching.

What will the rest of the sweater look like? Who knows!  Will it be long or cropped or somewhere in the middle?  I dunno!  Will it have waist shaping or tapered sleeves? Maybe?

It’s kinda fun to go into a sweater with literally no idea of what it’s going to end up looking like.  I always go from a pattern, or at least a sketch of what I want the finished project to be, so it’s a nice change of pace and a nice project to have on my needles in this weird, weird time.

What’s your quarantine knitting?

 

Pattern: Snoqualmie Cowl

New pattern day!  I’m excited about this one. (Though, I suppose I’m always excited about a new pattern.)

It’s a super simple cabled cowl in the most luxurious yarn have left in your stash.  (I don’t know about you, but I have a bunch of little balls of bulky wool and alpaca that I can’t bring myself to throw away.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACovered in tons of simple cables, the Snoqualmie Cowl looks way more complicated than it is.  It’s a great way to practice cable knitting and play with colors.  And because it’s knit in super-thick yarn on great big needles, it works up in about fifteen minutes (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but it does go really fast)!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you want to give this cowl a shot, grab a copy of the free pattern here:

Snoqualmie Cowl

Inspiration: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!  (And Happy Thursday, everyone else!)

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is one of my all-time favorite things to do.  There’s something about spending hours planning, shopping and scheduling that makes the run-up to Thanksgiving especially great.  And, nothing beats spending the day chopping vegetables, stirring pots, and smelling all those wonderful Thanksgiving kitchen smells with your friends and family.  I’m drooling in anticipation already (which is a gross image, so sorry!)

When I think of Thanksgiving food, I think of home-y, cozy dishes, made with a special twist.  Food that is comforting (and comfortable), but fancied-up a little bit.  Which, incidentally, is exactly how I like my knitting, too.  Simple, comfy, and just a little fancy.

Let’s share a buffet of Thanksgiving-inspired knitwear, all worked in my favorite comfy, yet fancy fiber, alpaca.

This hat has a gorgeous, squishy texture, but is simple enough for even the pickiest of hat-wearers.

Graham by Jennifer Adams

IMG_8516_medium2[1]I just love patterns with great big swathes of interesting texture.

Big Herringbone Cowl by Purl Soho

herringbone-cowl-flat-425_medium[1]The cables, openwork, and shaping on this sweater make it seem challenging and modern, yet I think it would become an instant classic in any wardrobe.

Aurys by Svetlana Volkova

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Yarn Spotlight: Rome

I don’t usually wax poetic about a specific brand of yarn.  It makes me feel like a (unpaid) corporate shill.  But in this case, this yarn is so exceptional, so weird, and so awesome that I can’t help myself.

Mom bought me a handful of  skeins of HPKY’s Rome yarn for my birthday.  And when I opened the box, I immediately put down the project I was working on to start knitting with the Rome Yarn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s incredibly fluffy and soft. Like kittens and clouds, and… I don’t know… ducklings.  It’s mostly baby alpaca and Merino, with a little bit of nylon.

At first glance, Rome looks like unspun pencil roving, but when you start working with it, you realize it’s incredibly strong and totally not split-y.  When you look closer, you see that it’s actually really cool space-aged yarn.  What they’ve done is take a super-fine nylon fiber and knit it into an I-cord.  Then, they filled the little knit tube with the alpaca and merino.  See? (It’s crazy hard to photograph, but this was the best I could do.  If you squint really hard, you can kind of see the I-cord stitching).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause the alpaca and merino fibers haven’t actually been spun together, your finished project ends up extra fluffy and cuddly.  I made the HPKY Bias Shawl with my Rome yarn, and it’s the warmest, most wonderful thing I’ve made in a long time.  The squishy-ness of garter stitch combined with the fluffiness of the yarn makes it unbelievably lovely.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you see a skein (or two) of HPKY’s Rome, grab it up.  Even if you don’t knit with it, you can keep it around to pet like a kitten.  I wouldn’t judge.