As a resident of the (American) South and a knitter I have a love / hate relationship with wool. I love to knit will wool and revel in all of its wonderful wooly knitting attributes. There are many things where substituting another fiber simply will not work. But …
I live in the South. It gets hot.
Really hot for extended periods of time.
I think it is why I have such a fondness for lace when dreaming up a new pattern. But it also means that I have a special place in my heart (and my stash) for yarn companies who offer non-wool yarns and interesting wool/non-wool blends. One such company is Blue Sky Alpacas.
Yes, yes. I know, alpaca is considerably warmer than wool. You have totally busted me as a total hypocrite. But alpaca is so soft. I really have an alpaca problem. My best friend says I have “alpaca-radar” where I can walk into any yarn store and immediately find the yarns that contain alpaca and that is pretty much true. The soft halo and beautiful drape seduce me every time. So I guess I should modify my above statement. I am a huge fan of Blue Sky Alpacas because of their great non-wool options and the ridiculously soft and beautiful alpaca.
One of their yarns, Worsted Cotton, is my go-to yarn for anything and everything baby related. Before you get all ewwww cotton on me, this is not dishcloth cotton. This is a soft, fluffy two ply of organic cotton that knits up beautifully and comes in a large range of both soft and bright colors as well as multi-color. When someone close to me is fixin’ to have a baby – this is where I start in blanket planning.
When my nephew was “in the oven” I knit a baby blanket out of the colors Azul, Aloe and Honeydew. Unfortunately I have only pretty crappy pictures of the blanket because really, how interesting is what is essentially a giant washcloth. But with a skein of the natural cotton and the scraps from the blanket I also made the adorable jacket above. Light, soft, easy wearing. Perfect for our weather and a wider range of wearing possibilities.
Why am I babbling on about Blue Sky Alpacas you might ask? Did they pay you, you might ask? Well, no – they didn’t. But I was lucky enough to get my hands on a skein of their brand new yarn at TNNA.
And it is so very, very lovely. I just want to sit and hug it, and pet it, and name it George. As you can see by the tag it is a 50/50 blend of Alpaca and super soft merino. Just like the Worsted Cotton it is a super lofty 2 ply that creates a soft, fluffy yarn. I so desperately wanted to wind this up and start playing with swatches but I said to myself “Self, hands off!” It occurred to me that one of you getting your hands on this new yarn would be a great prize in my Lace-a-long! (Also, on the BSA site they have this awesome, wee stitch sampler that you can scope out).
So that is why this bad boy is still pristine in its skein. It will be given away to a lucky knitter participating in my Lace-a-long. I figure that by the time the -a long is over that people might be wanting to knit up something maybe not so lacy. And this yarn fits that bill (although chunky lace is a-w-e-s-o-m-e).
As an Aran weight yarn I anticipate that this would knit up crazy fast and since the put up on it is 150 g (ove 200 yards!) one skein is more than enough to do a whole project. I could see it being a great, close to the neck squishy cowl. Or I bet you could get a chunky pair of fingerless mitts out of a skein. I have no doubt that you could manage a hat easily.
I was totally curious so here, I did a Ravelry search for you with the parameters of knitting>aran>accessories>under 218 yards. Man, there are a lot of things there I could make. I have the pattern for this hat and it would be fabulous in that pink. Can you imagine a giant, pink, fluffy alpaca/merino pom pom. Arrrrrgh, it is a good thing I have already published this skein on my list of prizes in the Rav group or this puppy would be going back into stash.
Obviously you need this yarn, so come over and join in the Lace-a-long. We just got started on May 15th and the -a long will be running until July 31st. You can jump in at any time and use any of my patterns that have lace as a design feature. Everyone is welcome and we hope to have a grand old time!