Friday, November 8, 2013

Alpaca blend yarn festings

I bought this yarn the other night because it's so very purple, and am dwelling on the fact that it's composed of alpaca and bamboo.

Alpaca and bamboo?

Backstory: I was at The Royal Winter Fair.  A bunch of us go for a variety of reasons (Nana's Kettle Corn, Butter Sculptures, Cows, Horses, and Tiny Tom Donuts among others) and the one place I have to stop every year is the Meadowview Alpaca Farm booth.  That link will take you directly to their yarn shop, by the way, because I am the world's worst yarn enabler.

I've gotten amazing boot weight sock yarn from their booth in the past and knit even more amazing socks with it, so I never like to miss a chance, but this year the colours I liked were all a lighter weight and I made myself say No.  I still haven't knit last year's boot weight, after all.  Plus I can always order online if I find I regret that decision too horribly.

Sidestory: omigosh the lambs this year at the Fair.  They were soooo perfectly shorn and immaculately clean, like the ones that jump over fences as you fall asleep, or the ones you buy in Jellycat stuffed-animal form and hug as you fall asleep.  (actually I don't think Jellycat makes baby sheep this cute.  Get on that, Jellycat.)

Mainstory again: alpaca and bamboo??

The first thing I know about alpaca is that it's super soft, and super warm.  Also, that it can absorb a lot of water before you feel wet.  And finally, that it has no elasticity.  Bonus knowledge: it is a real drag to rip out in knitted form because it sticks to itself, and it is such a bad idea to weave with if you're setting up the loom with it instead of using it for back-and-forth, because it will break.  Guaranteed.

Bamboo has antibacterial properties and is immensely renewable - although the process of making it into fiber is not always environmentally delightful.  It's not very warm which makes it a great choice for summer weight socks.  And it's got no elasticity.

So why pair alpaca and bamboo?  Sheer novelty value?

I've been into my reference books and here's what I think.

Alpaca gets very heavy very quickly and this particular bit of yarn has been spun to be a very heavy weight yarn indeed: it's Lopi.  Bamboo on the other hand is airy.  It may be that the idea is to produce a yarn that will drape, instead of droop.

What do you think?

And don't bother thinking about what on earth I will use it for.  We all know the answer to that, right?

(drop stitch cowl, drop stitch cowl, drop stitch cowl...)

Meet Plony

Okay, I admit - it wasn't just that the colours and weights didn't coincide nicely for me this year.  While I was supposed to be looking at sock yarn I noticed this puffy thing just below all of that, resting on a pile of alpaca knits.

It was so fluffy I had to touch it, and having touched it, I had to take a closer look.

Hello Plony!  (I am not responsible for this name, I don't think.  It sort of happened in the car on the way out of the Fair and it seems to be sticking.)

This has to be the first time I've taken a picture of something soft and not had to say I'm sorry you can't reach through your screen to see what I mean by 'soft'.  The 100% alpaca softness shows, doesn't it.

That said, I'm not sure how Plony fits into my personal menagerie here.  He looks a little demented and he's not actually cuddly, being at core a wire frame rather than anything Pillow.  But omigosh:


Okay, it's time for me to go and be a productive member of society, for a few hours anyway.  I hope your weekend has something soft in it too, or at least something nicely new to you, like alpaca with bamboo, and I'll see you again Monday!

Turns out you can get your own Plony.  Or Alpaca, or little tiny Bear.  You're so welcome, ahem.

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