I thought alpaca was supposed to be

soft and not itchy? I crocheted a scarf in Araucania Atacama. The label says 100% Alpaca. 10 inches into crocheting it, I put it against my neck and the thing itches. I say to myself, maybe :pray: it’ll get soft and the itch will go away after I wash it and drench it in fabric softener. Unfortunately, that worked better in my head than the actual thing.

I guess my question is, what can anyone recommend I knit(or crochet) when I frog the whole thing? The scarf was made with 300 yards. I still have another 100 yards that’s unused.

On a happier note, I got some Malabrigo! :cheering: I finally understand what the fuss is all about! I want to make a scarf with it. I sort of volunteered to make my cousin one since she’s never owned a scarf before. She’s visiting the U.S. (She lives in a tropical country. You’d be crazy to wear a scarf!) So, any recommendations on a scarf pattern that’s perfect for Malabrigo?

Thanks in advance!

I’ve only knitted with KP Suri Dream alpaca and it’s very soft but I have had itchy alpaca sweaters. I’ve got some Great Adirondack Alpaca Tweed and it’s sooooooooo soft. I haven’t knitted with it yet I’m looking for the right pattern. Try some baby alpaca it’s nice and soft.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

Yes that’s right what Nadja said, esp about the baby alpaca. I fell in love with this stuff called Peruvian Baby Alpaca, it cost a fortune. The first time I got it I paid $27.00 (per skein) for 3 skeins and made a sweater, an expensive sweater! (which I still have to seam up). Then I saw some more of the same stuff at the Wool Festival in Rhinebeck and it was only $19.00 !! per skein. So I got some more and I made, believe it or not, a skirt. Took forever but I love working with the stuff, it’s so soft.

So it varies. Usually it’s pretty soft.

Before you frog it, rewash it and add a little hair conditioner in the rinse. Does wonders for the softness and itch.

there are some instances where it doesn’t matter how soft the yarn is, it will still make you itch. I have used misti alpaca and it works up like butter but it does actually make my neck itch when i wear it for too long. Malabrigo is my favorite yarn evah and it makes my neck itch when i wear it for too long. It isn’t so bad that I can’t wear it, but it is noticible. we all react to the yarns differently and even the different parts of our bodies will react differently. some areas are just more sensetive to others.

i think it also depends pretty greatly on how it is spun and the quality of the actual fiber used.

That’s great advice. I wash everything with shampoo & conditioner with just a touch of eucalyptus oil for moths.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja :knitting:

The only alpaca I’ve ever used is Eki Riva Baby Alpaca… no itch… just soft 'paca lovliness:D

Yep. Same here, though not so much for the Malabrigo for me, but definitely for the alpaca. I got a hank of the Plymouth chunky baby alpaca as a gift and thought it was so soft that I might want to make a neck warmer or something from it. Nope, that stuff cannot be on my neck. But it’s fine for gloves for me. If it doesn’t make your hands itch, maybe use it for some other less sensitive part of your body.

I have a problem with alpaca-itchiness, too – I knitted a scarf for my husband, and it tickled and itched so much when I would put it up to my neck as I was knitting it, that part of me didn’t want to give it to him (it was a Christmas present and the second-ever thing that I’ve ever knit him). I kept at it, though, because the yarn was so expensive and I really loved the pattern. DH loved it though – said it was super-soft and warm without being too hot – he never mentioned anything about it being itchy to him – and he wears it constantly! I think that it’s just a personal preference…

I’ve noticed a difference in alpacas, too. I have some that a friend spun and it’s so soft and non-prickly. I have some of the Araucania, too, and it doesn’t feel as soft. Some is hairier than others, too. I’ve spent many a morning picking alpaca hair out of my eye.

Thanks! I thought maybe I was just being too sensitive. :??

Okay, I will try the conditioner. I used fabric softener, but the only difference is it smells better. Does it matter what kind of conditioner? Like for color-treated hair or frizzy hair or curly hair, etc.? :roflhard:

For anyone who’s interested, this is what I’ll be frogging (if the conditioner thing doesn’t work, which is most likely :pout:). I’ll include a detail of the stitch. The left side is supposed to be the front of the scarf and the right side is the back. It’s a ripple crochet pattern.

alpacas are definitely differnt. they vary by breed and age and if the alpaca was shorn once or twice that year.

frog tree sport weight always feels soft to me when i go and molest it at the LYS. someday im gonna make something with that yarn!

That’s not surprising. Just as some wool is scratchier than other wool, alpaca can be more or less scratchy. Don’t buy stuff without being sure it will be as soft as you want, especially if you are sensitive to scratchiness.
For the scratchy alpaca you have, you might like to felt it.