My love for alpaca has often been expressed on these pages, from the “nuzzle” in the URL as homage to “Nuzzle and Scratch” to its constant appearance in woolly objects, despite the fact that it does tend to knit up a bit tickly – Alpaca is just such a pleasure to knit with (soft and smooth) and to wear (soft and warm…oh and tickly).
But love was wearing a bit thing after 2 marathon sessions. The first being 5 feet of cabled alpaca which was both 4ply and splittyThe next battering of my devotion came after knitting up 2 balls of “lace weight” alpaca for my Mum who’d started a lacy scarf but it became too painful (RSI) to finish – the pattern (free from Toft Alpacas) was easy to remember but easy to mess upAfter this one I was quite happy to go cold turkey for awhile on the Aplaca, but I haven’t quit, I’m going to have another go slightly closer to christmas, I have a big ball of Aran and some large needles !
In the meantime I have found a vegetarian alternative on which to lavish my devotion and praise, Bamboo…its soft, it drapes like silk, it comes in a gorgeous arrange of colours and it has such a glamorous sheen…and, something I really needed after the uneven stitching in Julia’s Cardigan (Rowan Donegal Lights) it knitted up really really well, so even, so neat. I am so smitten with Bamboo that I have 35 balls of the stuff (plus a skein of sugar cane yarn in glorious pastel ice cream colours).
The problem is that I seem to have an inability to actually finish anything in it…is it because I love it so much that I just want to keep knitting and never stop ? Whatever the reason 11 balls of black are supposed to be a lace style top for me where I have knit the front of the thing 3 times now but keep messing it up (I’m now using a notebook to keep track of increases/decreases and the chart) and 8 balls of it became most of a jumper knit in the round until I tried it on and realised that bright green possibly wasn’t my colourAlternatively it could have been that the pink stripe didn’t work, whatever it looked awful so I frogged it back… it’s waiting for me to find a pattern that suits it and the black is languishing as a UFO because fickle fickle me has found a new love.This is my swatch for Manu made with Wensleydale Longwool. It’s lucky that I am in love with its softness, smoothness, its natural sheen (its like the offspring of an Alpaca and a grove of Bamboo !) because despite being DK, to get the tension right for Manu I am knitting it on 3.25mm, I almost ended up with 3mm but decided to wash the swatch first and then measure.
I’m hoping that my obsession about this yarn is enough to sustain me because Manu is going to be a bit of a slog to knit. There is lots and lots of stocking stitch – it’s knit flat but the front and back are done together (200 stitches per row) – and then after about 3 balls of 100g balls of stocking stitch you reach the interesting knitting at the yoke and sleeves.
This is not an easy love affair…I’ve bought a ball of aran in the Wensleydale, just in case I need to rekindle the romance later on !