Knitting with Alpaca and Cashmere!

I just bought 1600 yds of 100% alpaca and I am so excited to knit with it. :woot: I have never knit with alpaca and I was wondering if i should stay away from certain sweater patterns/styles.

And, I am also curious what everyone’s thoughts on cashmere. I know its wonderful and cozy but are there any drawbacks (besides pilling)? Does anyone have any great pattern ideas?

UGG baby booties
Bamboo/Cotton Lacy baby jumper
Fair Isle Christmas stocking

What weight? I have a pound of sport weight alpaca and when I tried to make a vest from it it was just too thin to hold it’s shape.

It’s 1600 yds of Lavish (DK weight) in Samba

Probably the easiest is to join Ravelry and see what other people have made with that yarn. You could also check the manufacturers web site and see if they have patterns using that yarn.

Most of the FO on Ravelry are shawls/scarves/wrist-warmers. Nothing that I am really interested in. And the manufacturers website has no patterns. Any other ideas???

I’ve only knit with alpaca blends which behave more like wool. Going on what Mason’s experience was I would probably look for a pattern with some cabling or other stitch pattern other than stockinette to try and firm up the fabric a bit so it holds shape better if you’re going to make a sweater or top.

Hm, I’m in the process, almost finished, of making a shrug with Classic Elite alpaca. It doesn’t seem too thin and I guess I won’t have to worry much about shape holding up. I’ve absolutely loved working with it, it’s so soft and luxurious. There’s a picture of the shrug I’m making at Ravelry under my name.

This thread brought up a problem I am having with alpaca. Everytime I pick up the prayer shawl I was knitting with it I start to sneeze and my eyes itch and burn. It’s almost like holding a cat in my lap which I am highly allergic to. I’ve been told that very few people are allergic to alpaca, but I seem to be. Anyone else have this problem?

What weight wool are you using? It looks beautiful!

I have heard of some people having really bad allergies to alpaca. you may want to try using a wool wash (like SOAK) after you’re done knitting it. I have heard it helps, but I don’t have any personal experience with it. Good luck!

Deja… oops, the picture you must mean is their pattern, not my shrug, but I am going to take a pic any day and put it there.
I’ve yet to learn different weights, I’ve kind of ignored that.
Here’s a link to this yarn which is really beautiful

Mine is purpley heather. It was on sale at my lys for 30% off and I once again underestimated yardage and only bought 3 skeins so I had to go back and pay $10 full price instead of $7, for another skein and now it looks like I might need one more! :nails: I don’t know if I’m doing the shawsl collar, maybe not. Will post a pic soon.

Kristaj, that’s strange about being allergic or having a reaction to alpaca, I’ve knitted with a few different kinds and it seems really well, no smell or anything, just really nice. Maybe it has something else in it? Can you ask the person you bought it from?

I have lots of their alpaca as I buy it directly from them and I originally bought it off ebay for a song. I was crocheting a vest for my son and like KnittingGuy, I ran into problems. I started out on gauge and the ribbing stayed fine. As I started to get into the pattern it started to stretch. I was crocheting on gauge as the stitches were formed to gauge but as the rows went up the product grew. I frogged it and started again thinking I did something wrong and I have two started versions of the vest. I went to my LYS and spoke with the owner and she said that aplaca does that and I needed to mix it with wool to keep the stretching from happening. I was double stranding the alpaca for a worsted weight as it isn’t as thick as regular ww. It is superfine ww and thinner. So when I finish a project I have to find wool with a blue enough to mix with the alpaca. The alpaca is really soft and I love it but I got really frustrated trying to make the vest because of the stretching. I also decided to make a knitted vest and design it myself as the pattern selection for guys is limited.:aww:


So when I finish a project I have to find wool with a blue enough to mix with the alpaca.

What do you mean there? How do you mix it in if you’ve finished the project? You know, I can’t believe it but I guess I wasn’t paying attention much and now that I did, I see my shrug HAS really stretched a lot. I think it will be ok for something that just goes around your back but I need to decrease earlier and just do the other arm before it’s 6 feet long.:teehee: God, I can’t believe I didn’t notice til now. Or maybe it stretched more and more the longer it got.

I’ve used a couple of different blends. One with acrylic and one with wool. I have the same reaction with both. I’ve also knitted with just wool and just acrylic, so I know its not the wool or acrylic. I guess I’m just one of those unlucky people who won’t be able to knit with alpaca.

VictoiseC — sorry about the mix-up. Must have been a hectic morning out here! I am looking forward to your pic!

Mathwizard, do you have any suggestions before I start a project with this alpaca? What do you think about knitting with a second strand of merino. That would bump up the gauge of the yarn and maybe retain the shape a little???

Hi Deja! I tok some pix, they aren’t too bright but…

my shrug seemed to have gone from two feet to six feet ha,

but it’s so soft, I wanted something to snuggle into as it gets colder but not a big sweater. I just have to finish the other sleeve…
Here they are.

btw, mathwizard, I never knew alpaca stretched like this. I can’t believe it. Live and learn. (knit and learn)

Your sleeves are beautiful! Those will be so nice when the weather gets cooler. I have started the pattern quest, hopefully I will find something soon. As my belly gets bigger I have less and less energy to go do projects and I find more time for knitting. Good thing my son is happy with sitting next to me and reading books all day!

My LYS owner said to knit with one strand alpaca and one strand of wool of the same weight. It will give the project stability and will not stretch. I have just to find a blue yarn that will match the alpaca.