Handspun lovely rose grey squishy soft baby alpaca? Check. Knitting needles? Check. Pattern to go with the yarn? Nope.
I’ve started two sweaters in the past three days (one is still on the needles in the photo) and both need to be frogged which is knitter speak for ripping out. It turns out that my hand spun alpaca is not, as I thought, a sport weight, it’s most definitely either a heavy DK weight or a light worsted weight. AND. Alpaca, it turns out, has no memory. So the sweaters I started, will not keep their shape. They will grow. Which will be bad.
The first sweater I started had a lovely drape, which would have taken into account the stretch factor, but I’m not going to spin and ply 1800 yards of this stuff before it’s due to be given! And the body of the sweater was quite drapey but the sleeves looked distressingly tight on the models which concerned me enough that I ripped it out.
The second sweater was working up nicely in the ribbed section at the waist, but when I started on the body I realized there was no way a light weight 2 ply was going to work with a sweater designed for a heavy worsted 10 ply yarn. Nope. Knitting you can see through just doesn’t work unless you’re knitting lace.
So, back to square one. Another two hours wasted surfing patterns at Ravelry yielded exactly nothing that I thought my intended recipient would care for. Lots I would wear, but this time of year I can’t possibly knit for myself. I have custom knitting for pay, gift knitting for loved ones and no time to knit for myself, not even socks.
Then I remembered a pattern I had purchased last year. I searched Ravelry for this pattern made with alpaca. And found a quite lovely example that proved it could work. So.
Enter Hitofude. Lacey, light, drapey and yet slim and stylish, perfect for alpaca. Win.
Now I’d better get ripping so I can get knitting! Oh, and find my size 4 circulars….