Know your yarns: Alpaca

Another useful Fibre profile

Continuing with our occasional look at the different yarns and fibres we can use in our knitting and crochet, we turn to alpaca which is soft, cosy and drapes beautifully.

Where does the yarn come from?

Alpaca yarn comes from the fleeces of alpacas, a South American camelid related to Llamas. The animals originate in the Andes but are increasingly bred and farmed in Europe.

Although, due to selective breeding, the most common colour is white, fleeces come in 22 natural colours including black, browns, fawns, silver-greys, and rose-greys.

huacaya alpaca

There are two types of alpaca – huacaya (pictured) and suri. The huacaya’s fibre grows vertically out of its skin in crimped bundles with what is described as a “teddy bear” look. Suri fibre grows in bundles that twist and hang down on the animal.

The huacaya fibre is more akin to wool and produced in a similar way through carding…

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Knitting is Healthy!

As if we needed an excuse…..


This article has been floating around for a while, but it’s very interesting (and nothing we knitters didn’t know already!). Enjoy!


Don’t stop knitting! It keeps you healthy.

woman knitting

Last month I wrote an article called “Why bother knitting a scarf?” Much to my surprise, I received thousands of positive reactions from readers who share my love of homemade, local, and beautiful “slow fashion” items. Clearly, knitting is being embraced by people from all walks of life who benefit from its peaceful, relaxing repetition. It got me wondering – what’s really going on when people knit? Why is it so tremendously popular?

It turns out that knitting has incredible health benefits. It makes people feel good in just about every way. A bit of research has revealed a wide range of ways in which knitting helps humans cope, physically and mentally.


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When a Scarf is not a Scarf – a Pattern

What a fantastic idea! Versatility is king with ambidextrous garment

Monster Yarns

We’ve all been there –  most people start with knitting them. You can never have too many after all! Of course, I’m talking about scarves. But they can be a bit boring to knit and what if you want to use it to keep more of you warm than just your neck? I’m all for multi-functional items – see my 3-in-1 scarf and I wanted to make a more versatile scarf that could be worn in many ways.

Scarf done Is it a scarf?

I used an aran weight self striping yarn with a little girlie glitter in it and started knitting 7 rows of seed stitches, keeping 7 stitches of seed stitch on either side, adding a YO, slip 2 knitwise, k1, slip the 2 stitches over, YO in the middle of the material – the total width is about 45 cms. I carried on for six 100g skeins of yarn…

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Here Be Hygge

There should be more hygge in the world. My pet theory is this is where the word hug comes from

the twisted yarn

I read an interesting article on the BBC website the other day. I confess that I might have been attracted to the piece in the first place by the photo of fairisle socks, even though they’re clearly not hand-knitted:-

hygge Screenshot from the BBC News website

The article explains that people from Denmark have a concept called hygge. It’s pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, just in case your Danish is getting shamefully rusty these days. (I know, you’ve been super-busy: you’ve had no time to brush up on Scandinavian languages.) Hygge roughly translates as ‘cosiness’, and is used to describe a home environment full of warm comfort, low lighting, and contented companionship.  And it’s probably one of the reasons why Denmark is one of the happiest nations on earth. Danes emphasise hygge in a big way, wise people that they are. I’ve loved spending time in other Scandinavian countries (Norway and Finland, especially) but have never…

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Why have handmade Socks?

I have been asked on many occasions “Why have handmade socks?” and there are so many answers.

  • Choice:  You can have exactly what you want.
  • Comfort:  Handmade socks have an inherent cushioning effect making for happier feet.
  • Fiber Content:  My preference is for natural fibres. I firmly believe that if you want your feet to breath, to be comfortable and not be too sweaty or stinky then natural is the way to go.
  • Fit:  Mass produced socks tend to be made to fit a shoe size range and rely on the addition of elastic to make up the shortfall.  Have you ever had to pull the toes like taffy or chase the heel of you sock around your foot?
  • Wear & Tear:  If for whatever reason you wear out socks in certain places, custom crafted socks can be made with reinforcing where you need it, whether it is under the heel and ball of the foot for horseriders, extended up the heel if you have Achilles’ tendons or accommodating differences after surgery.

So, if you are tempted feel free to contact me.  Pricing is individual, but the model is Materials + Making Fee + Postage.