Monday, March 9, 2009
I originally purchased alpaca without knowing much about it. I knew it felt silky-soft in the store and I loved the heathery appearance. It made a beautiful shrug. What I didn't understand is some of the various properties of alpaca. Normally it has very little crimp to the fiber, which means unlike most sheeps' wool, it doesn't have a lot of memory of its shape, and the cloth knit with it likes to drape. Over time it likes to stretch out under its own weight. It is also hollow at its core and incredibly warm. The first two properties can be offset somewhat by blending it with wool (I stranded my project with a laceweight merino). The hollow core means a pullover would be great--if I lived in Alaska. In the Pacific Northwest, not so awesome. I elected for the cardigan instead and embarked on a long process of modifying and innovating. But I've mentioned all that before!
There are parts of this sweater that make me think, "I could have done this a little differently." But when I look at the whole, it is a lovely, fashionable sweater. It is dreamily warm and looks fabulous with blue-jeans or dressier pants. I am extremely proud wearing it and love showing it off. And I appreciate every last bit of advice and help I received in creating it. I couldn't have done it without all my friends.