Tag Archives: yarn

Who wore it best?

31 Mar

On a recent day in late March, all the fashionistas were stepping out wearing the same fuzzy, fawn-colored fiber:


Francesca, the model/singer/songwriter on the left, wore hers in a curly, casual up-do, while a human sewing and knitting blogger on the right chose a more contrived cowl version, knitted in an Indian cross-stitch pattern.

91% of alpacas surveyed agreed that Francesca’s look was more successful, spontaneous, and on-trend. At any rate, alpaca wool in its own natural color is clearly a must-have for this season.


So then, she was all, like, “Noooo, I’m going to make a scarf out of YOU!”

24 Mar


I visited an alpaca farm.  If ever there was a strange animal, it’s an alpaca. Long-necked, cleft-lipped bobble-headed beasts with a gait right out of the “Ministry of Funny Walks”, or, to an avid knitter: YARN ON LEGS.

I had this idea that I wanted to meet my yarn. You know–when you travel, you might sample national cuisines, or pick up a bottle of wine from a place you visit, to savor the flavor of the terrain.  I wanted to make something where I had firsthand experience with the source of my materials. And so I went looking for wool animals, and found these hilarious boys and girls.


Believe me, they are ridiculous animals. But I love them. I now, of course, sort of have this fantasy where I quit my day job and have a herd of alpacas and knit and weave all the time and wear only alpaca fiber that I have sheared from the animal with my own hands….well, okay, not that far. But there is something delightful about getting in touch with your materials, especially when the source is a shaggy animal with an absurdly cute face.


In the meantime, I have lots of good yarn to work with that did come directly from the fiber of the animals I met, so that goal is accomplished, and it is beautiful, luxurious fiber, indeed.


I’m especially looking forward to working with this one: it’s 600 yards of a reddish/brown dk yarn, and it looks pretty good both in the skein as well as on the original fellow who sported it, and I’ll tell you, it’s a real challenge, to find a pattern that will be worthy of him:


Now, of course, I feel like I should knit up some beautiful garment, and take it back to the farm, and find the original alpaca whose wool went into the yarn, and pose for a photo with both the animal and myself adorned in the same fleece: one raw, one spun and knitted up.  Maybe that’s a little silly.

But then again, I don’t think alpacas mind “silly” very much.


“C’mere, honey, and give mama a kiss!”

Knitting nemesis

7 Jan

Look at them, all lined up so cutely, so temptingly, in my local yarn shop yesterday: skeins of Kidsilk Haze. The most yummy balls of yarn, all soft and squishable like baby kittens, in glorious colors. (I’m particularly taken with the orange and blue nestled together so nicely on the top row).

But this is how they get me, every time. They look sooo sweet, and I think “surely, I can have just one!” So over the years I have purchased…let me think–I’m going to be totally honest with you, here: I have purchased at leastseven skeins of this stuff.

Guess how many projects I have finished from this yarn? Not one, ever. I have made one cuff from a set of two, one half of a scarf, and one third of another scarf. Not once have I been able to reach completion with what I envision, while standing here being tempted by this particular rack of frothy fiber. It’s just too cobwebby to work with, too fragile and temperamental…or else it’s just too far a division between fantasy and reality: what I see in mind’s eye contemplating the spun wool, versus what comes off my needles once I’ve had my way with it.

Sigh. It is not to be, my lovely little skeins of fuzz. No more with you. I will go home and squeeze one of the seven colors to which I have already fallen prey.