Alpaca Dreams: Mill Bag #1

Several weeks ago my friends at Alta Vida Alpacas gave me a few skeins of the yarn made in the first mill run of their fiber. I knit some hats and a pair of mitts with the bulky yarn that came from their Huacaya alpaca, and put off working with the sport weight Suri alpaca yarn for a couple of weeks. This was the yarn that they labeled Mill Bag #1: it was soft, slinky, amazing. It just had to be knit in some type of lace pattern, but what?

I played with different ideas and lace patterns, and finally settled on making a scarf in fir cone pattern. You can check out my early efforts at my earlier post Alpaca Days; I finally finished the scarf last week and with no further ado, here it is…

 

Scarf
Here she is in all her glory hanging on my front tree. The yarn gives this scarf an amazing feel.
Stitch detail
Here’s a close-up of the fir cone stitch.

I still had a half skein of the yarn left after finishing the scarf; just enough to make a swatch for another scarf/cowl idea. Cari from Alta Vida foolishly told me I could dye the yarn if I wanted. Hmmm… how brave did I feel? I decided that I was only a little bit brave, but I did want to see how the fiber looked with some color variation. I decided to kettle dye the yarn with my Gaywool indigo colored dye.

Dyeing yarn
I put the soaked yarn into a crockpot and added a dilute dye solution in several different spots with a syringe. After the first infusions of color had spread through the yarn (and the temperature was close to the simmer) I added a second round of dye solution infusions. See, not very brave. Some variation in color, but only with one color in the pot. Call me a dye baby…
Dyed Yarn
Here is the finished yarn. By the time the yarn was all dry I had decided to make a swatch of a moebius scarf pattern that I had knitted before in a variegated yarn. Cari and I had talked about a scarf that could also be a cowl. This might be the ticket if the yarn looked nice in the pattern.
Knitted Fabric
Swatch! Look at how cool the color is: just a little pooling.  Since this is a swatch for a moebius I did a provisional CO in the middle of the central garter area, and then knit one side “up” and the other side “down”.
Trinity Stitch
There is trinity stitch on both sides of the scarf/cowl. This is the “up” side…
Wrong side of trinity stitch
…and this is the “down” side showing the wrong side of the trinity stitch.

The yarn is just crisp enough to make the little bobbles in the trinity stitch pop up while still feeling incredibly soft. I think the two sides of the pattern look kind of cool and complementary (and luckily for me, so did Cari!), and as the cowl will be folded and doubled around the wearer’s head both sides of the pattern will be visible no matter how it is folded. The beauty of a moebius is that there is no wrong side and you can just put it on and rock it.

Cari gave me two more skeins of Mill Bag #1 yarn to make the full cowl. I get to dye them, too.

Gosh, this is going to be fun to knit.

Alpaca
Alpacas: You all take good care of that fiber, you hear?

They just sheared their alpacas two weekends ago. I wonder how long it will take for the new batch of yarn to come back from the mill?

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Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled cats.

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