Tag Archives: Alpaca

Woolfest

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imageimageI went to Woolfest in Cockermouth Cumbria this week. We took Damnvan1 and stayed at a place called Scotgate in Braithwaite. This was so that I could catch the bus at the campsite gate. The plan worked beautifully and I caught the free bus (I like free!) from Cockermouth to the venue which was an out of town animal auction mart.

There was a lot of wool, not a great surprise. There was wool in every style, colour and type.

The animal pens were turned into mini shops or stalls and there was the authentic aroma of animals! There were prize winning sheep on view, looking very bored. There were Lamas looking very snooty.

imageimageMost of the spinners, weavers and knitters were local with many individual dyers and commercial enterprises. It was lovely to see and great to talk to the business owners about their products This event s definitely in the diary for next year. I will up date you on my ever growing stash very soon.

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Wordsmith Wednesday -Alpaca Yarn

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Alpaca Yarn

Yarn spun from alpaca wool

Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. It is light or heavy in weight, depending on how it is spun. It is a soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep’s wool, it is warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Huacaya, an alpaca that grows soft spongy fiber, has natural crimp, thus making a naturally elastic yarn well-suited for knitting. Suri has no crimp and thus is a better fit for woven goods. The designer Armani has used Suri alpaca to fashion men’s and women’s suits. Alpaca fleece is made into various products, from very simple and inexpensive garments made by the aboriginal communities to sophisticated, industrially made and expensive products such as suits. In the United States, groups of smaller alpaca breeders have banded together to create “fiber co-ops,” to make the manufacture of alpaca fiber products less expensive.

image Alpaca Farm. Cute aren’t they?

Thanks to Wilipedia for the above although I prefer to spell FIBRE the English way!

Was This A Mistake?

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image imageIn my wisdom I decided to check out how far along I have got with my “Bee Keepers Quilt”. Well! All I can say is not very far! This is going to take me YEARS! I will still be blogging about these darn Hexipuffs in years to come. Rather than try to do a bed quilt I think it will end up as a lap quilt. Small but perfectly formed. The problem is that I am definately a planner and a starter not a complete finisher. But Hey! So what? I’m not going to set the knitting world on fire with my bamboo needles but what fun I will have starting all those projects. You never know, but sometimes I might finish one of my multiple UFOs and how good will I feel then?

so maybe my “quilt” isn’t a mistake I will finish it one day!

Finished at last

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Finished at last

I’m not sure which pleases me more. Actually finishing something or the fact that it fits and feels gorgeous! I used a beautiful 100% Alpaca yarn. I was surprised how fine it was when it arrived and would probably not been brave enough to start it had I seen it first! I am a return to knitting knitter after many years of in activity on the craft front. I feel very much like a novice but plodded along with this project and whey hey! Result! Now I feel like the World is my crafting oyster (well not quite) but watch this space.
The pattern is Vintage style, close fitting and three quarter sleeves-nice.

Blocking vs Pressing

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imageimageBlocking vs Pressing

I returned to one of my UFOs, an Alpaca cardigan that I started a age ago. The reason for the abrupt halt was that I had to “flatten” out my attempt at fair isle. I hadn’t done any fair isle for many years and had knit the squares a little tight so that they puckered somewhat. I announced in a previous blog that I intended to press the garment pieces. Everyone threw up their hands in horror and said that I would flatten it out too much. The advice was to block the pieces before sewing together and completing.
I have just blocked as advised and it works! I was told to use a heavy ( bath sized) towel which was very damp but not wet through. I opened up the towel on my ironing board and pinned out the knitting to size onto it. I then folded over the knitting the heavier part of the damp towel. I left it overnight and voila! Knitting flat but not too flat or flattened.
All I have to do now is sew together and knit the bands etc not much!

Sorry I seem to have got in a photo mess!

Knit and Natter

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ImageBENJI the most obedient dog !

ImageKnitting in progress

I have returned to knitting in a much bigger way than I have for years. This is largely due to my local craft group who help and inspire my ongoing projects (of which there are lots!) This picture is one of my current projects and is an attempt at Fair Isle which I haven’t done for years. I hope that I haven’t pulled the colours too tight, but I think that a good press before sewing up will sort it out. I am delighted with the yarn. This is 100% Alpaca and is lovely and soft. Hopefully the end product will be a success. Watch this space but maybe for quite a while.

last week end we took our new dog, Benji, to an obedience dog show. Not to compete, I hasten to add,but to teach his owners a thing or two.It was a great education and the obedience trained dogs were fantastic. Benji is very clever so we hope to train him well. Certainly not to competitor standard but to a socially acceptable level where he walks on a lead next to us and doesn’t jump up etc. I told him to look and learn but he was very busy with a dozens of new experiences.