Thursday, September 25, 2008

Those Adorable Alpacas

It seems like every knitting magazine has pictures of adorable alpacas. They are the inquisitive, intelligent and gentle creatures found mainly in the Andean Altiplano (highlands) of South America. Alpacas have long necks, slender legs and beautiful round eyes with incredibly long eyelashes (perfect for lash lengthening mascara advertisements). There are 22 natural colours of alpacas, ranging from jet black to snowy white, with many displaying a blend of various markings. The markings on their faces often give them what seems to be a quizzical expression.

Knitters know alpacas best for their luxurious soft fibre that is spun into yarn. The yarn displays softness, warmth, durablility, drape and resistance to pilling. It is ranked with cashmere and silk as one of the most valued yarns.
We have recently received a shipment of hand painted fingering weight alpaca yarn from Misti Alpaca. It is blended with 20% nylon for durability - perfect for socks, shawls or lacy tops. The only problem that we have encountered with the yarn is that it is difficult to start knitting with it - we just want to hold the skeins and enjoy the amazing softness.
Misti Alpaca had a display at the Knitter's Fair in Kitchener earlier in September. Here is their sales representative, Mary, modelling a perfectly draping scarf knit in the fingering weight alpaca. It would certainly be a cherished gift for a special someone this coming Christmas - if you can manage to part with it. This may be a project that will be best knit in pairs so you can keep one for yourself.
Posted by Karen

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