Sunday, September 04, 2016

For today, more ironing, I think; and change the cat’s litter tray.

Little was accomplished yesterday. David and Helen came with me on the hospital visit. We found my husband sleepy, but much recovered from his “episode” of the day before. I advanced the Whiskey Barrel sock somewhat. In the evening, D&H had a very small drinks party as a housewarming for their Edinburgh flat. I walked home with a friend in the gentle spring rain, except that it was autumnal.

I was far too tired at that point to attempt the Uncia, but today I fully intend to do the three rows remaining in Chart A, if nothing else.

However, that’s not all, knitting-wise, for the new VK arrived. It always comes in a Plain Brown Envelope, unlike the awful shrink-wrap of everybody else. And I always forget – what could this be? So it always comes as a delicious surprise. Some fine cables, some tempting vests. And if I were still in the market for ear-flap hats, some very interesting chullos.

And lots about Peru and alpaca. My memory of that fabric, some decades ago, is of knitting a sweater for myself. Fisherman’s rib, perhaps? The experience was utterly delicious, but the garment was a disaster. By the second or third wearing, it was a knee-length dress. Does alpaca still behave like that? I’d be very grateful for any comments. I’d like to go back there, but only if I can produce something with a bit of future life.

My current struggle with finance is going to involve a trip to a post office soon to consign some papers to snail mail. This is my chance to post some socks off to London, for-whom-they-may-fit; and so I may be inspired to get those socks – see sidebar – actually finished this weekend. It’s not as if I have any objection to Kitchener’ing toes.


  1. skeindalous11:46 AM

    It is in the nature of alpaca to stretch and not to rebound, as does wool. A friend wove a lovely scarf in alternating stripes of wool and alpaca. When on the loon, the threads are under tension, and stretch a bit. When off the loom, the wool stripes bounced back, but the alpaca did not. After wet-finishing the wool shrinks just a bit, while the alpaca does not. She now has a scarf with ruffly stripes!

  2. Alpaca fibre has no memory so will just keep stretching. Blended with some wool helps give it some bounce. If you stick to finer yarns and gauge it will be fine, if blended. And with shoulder seams, to carry the weight. Pure alpaca in fisherman's rib, perhaps in aran or above? Yes, it would stretch a lot under it's own weight.

  3. I'm with Isabella. Alpaca in a blend is fine, otherwise it has no elasticity. It also felts like crazy. I made myself a pair of alpaca socks in the distant past, thinking I'd have something special. A couple of days of warm feet in slippers and there were felting in situ.

  4. Alpaca is a hair, think dog, fibre & has no memory at all. Like cotton, it's pulled out of shape by it's own weight. It does work well as thick, cozy, warm knitted blankets - a friend made a beautiful afghan in pure alpaca - but makes a lousy sweater all by itself.
    Blended with wool, it makes lovely, fine lace yarns that will keep you warmer than you would believe. I, too, bought alpaca sock yarn - ONCE. It made lovely socks that survived one hospital visit as bed socks. On the other hand, I think the HOULLAND Hap would be incredible in an alpaca/wool yarn.

  5. I saw some yarn of "just the right shade of blue" in our only (and soon to close) yarn/haberdashery shop the other day. My paw went out - and then drooped in disappointment. It was alpaca and I have had nothing but bad experiences with alpaca for anything other than fine weight shawls. Even putting knitting elastic in the bands didn't help!