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 Success with alpaca
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Gabber Extraordinaire

464 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:11:14 PM  Show Profile Send cknits a Private Message
Recently I tried knitting a scarf with Misti Alpaca. I loved the fiber but the results were disappointing. I think that the yarn was too soft to hold the stitch definition required in the pattern. In the last few days I've done some searches on the forum, as I'd like to knit more with alpaca but am unsure if it is suitable for upcoming projects. I've read that alpaca is a yarn that tends to stretch, and does not hold it's shape. That would seem to rule it out for a number of projects. I know that it is also very warm, but in MN that's a plus. My question, what have you made successfully with alpaca? Can you cable or work a stitch pattern?

I was recently given Wrap Style as a gift and there are a few projects that I was thinking about using alpaca for. I'd like to sub it for Naturally Merino and Fur for the Lace Cardi Capelet if I can find an aran. The capelet uses the arrowhead lace pattern.

I did make Kiri with a lace wt alpaca and it is beautiful. Don't know how it will hold up, but I'm happy with it.

Thanks Carrie

Permanent Resident

4942 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  12:18:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Alpaca makes a very soft, drapey fabric, so you don't want to use it for items that need to hold their shape tightly.


During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell

Oh, and I now have a blog:
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Permanent Resident

2810 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  12:57:03 PM  Show Profile Send Tam a Private Message
I've used it for jumpers, including a cabled one, a scarf and I am currently using it for a shawl, and I've had no problem with it losing it's shape.
If you use a needle one size smaller than recommended then you will get a tighter fabric that won't drop as much.

Happy Knitting,
Tam in Melbourne

2005 Stats: 2 WIPs, 27 1/2 FOs
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Permanent Resident

1093 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  3:53:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit LittleMousling's Homepage Send LittleMousling a Private Message
Definitely go down a needle size or two. I made a stranded scarf with Blue sky alpaca recently; it works well for colorwork. And it's good for drapey lace, too; Misti makes a laceweight that's incredibly soft and lovely.

-Molly, obsessive but not exclusive socknitter
Stash photos and some FOs
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Permanent Resident

6331 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  4:45:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
I used Misti Alpaca worsted weight in a scarf. It's either farrow rib or mistake rib or one of those. It has held it's shape and it's soft and warm. The stitch pattern is very apparant and doesn't get lost at all. I've been reading on KR that alpaca doesn't work for all stitch patterns, however.

A double strand of laceweight Misti Alpaca is the yarn indicated in the original Flower Basket Shawl in IK. I knit it in one strand of Frog Tree Alpaca fingering weight and the lace pattern looked beautiful after blocking.

I also used Knitpicks Andean Treasure sportweight alpaca to make a "faux entrelac" scarf which is squares of stockinette and squares of garter stitch and, again, it's soft and warm.

Put me in the alpaca fan club.

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Chatty Knitter

114 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2006 :  09:23:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit saashka's Homepage  Send saashka a Yahoo! Message Send saashka a Private Message
A long time ago, when I first picked up alpaca, I read that it wouldn't hold its shape. So I worked it together with a strand of merino to get the fabric I wanted.
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