Alpacas may be the most adorable fiber-bearing animals on the planet, the source of the precious material to knitters known as alpaca yarn. I personally have always found alpacas irresistible, and many knitters find alpaca yarn just as irresistible. Just what is so great about alpaca yarn? It has many wonderful qualities, and if you’re unfamiliar with it, here are some great reasons to give it a try.
The Wonderful World of Alpaca Yarn
1. Warmth: Alpaca fiber is designed to keep the animal warm from the ravages of the cold climate in the Andes Mountains. Consequently, the yarn made from this fiber is exceptionally warm. 2. Light weight: Because alpaca fiber is hollow (in order to trap heat), it is also lightweight, which creates a yarn that does not feel at all heavy. 3. Smoothness: Alpaca fiber scales all lie flat in one direction, making them feel positively delightful against the skin. One drawback to alpaca yarn is that it tends to be a little inelastic, without the “bounce back” quality that makes sheep’s wool yarn so appealing. Alpaca fiber is often blended with other fibers for this reason, to give the yarn more elasticity.
Ready to give alpaca a try? Consider one of these popular brands:
Borroco Ultra Alpaca: Worsted, 50% Alpaca, 50% Wool Rowan Felted Tweed DK: DK, 50% Merino, 25% Rayon, 25% Alpaca Bernat Natural Blend Alpaca: Bulky, 70% Acrylic, 30% Alpaca Blue Sky Alpaca Silk: Sport, 50% Alpaca, 50% Silk Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande: Super Bulky, 100% Alpaca Knitpicks Andean Silk: Worsted, 55% Alpaca, 23% Silk, 22% Merino Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud: Lace, 100% Alpaca Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky: Bulky, 100% Alpaca This is just a tiny handful of the many, many alpaca yarns available. You may even be fortunate enough to buy some yarn directly from an alpaca farmer, if you happen to attend a nearby fiber festival like I did one year. I scored 3 skeins of beautiful alpaca yarn, two of which I knit into gorgeous hats. Knitting with it was like knitting with cloud silk. I hope you’ll find your alpaca yarn experience just as heavenly!