Thursday, April 7, 2011

Knits In Progress

In February I came across the pattern for Cassis and I knew right away I had to knit it. It was exactly what I wanted - something long and cozy, loose yet flattering, and not too bulky. After spending a bit of time lamenting the fact that I couldn't possibly afford to knit it in Madelinetosh, which many other knitters have used to produce some gorgeous, subtly-variegated garments (like this), I suddenly had an "ah-ha!" moment and chose Ultra Alpaca.


I could sing songs about Ultra Alpaca. I could write poems about it, make a shrine to it, take it out for dinner and a movie. We're talking serious love here, people. It's so soft and warm, and yet not too sheddy and totally durable. The colour I chose isn't heathered exactly, but it seems like the alpaca content is green and the wool is blue, resulting in this amazing teal. (Unless that fits the definition of heathered? I got the impression from Brooklyntweed's recent series on yarn mills that it's more complex than that.)

I cast on March 14th and I've been busily working on it ever since. It's knitting up a little faster than I expected, considering the length... although I have to admit that I'm starting to grow a tiny bit weary of knitting it. My wrists are starting to hurt and I'm impatient to wear it!


I've also started a sock project, in an attempt to achieve better knitting ergonomics and prevent repetitive stress injuries. Though, in truth I'm a very project-oriented knitter and working on two things at once is just totally counter-intuitive. I'm not devoting enough love toward the socks, and when I do I feel like they're standing in the way of sweater completion. I keep having to remind myself that they're promoting happy hands. And wrists. (And feet!)

The pattern is Skew, but I don't have an in-progress photo just yet. I cast-on in some Malabrigo from my meagre stash, and got about 70% of the way through the first sock before realizing that A) I'd made a counting error and B) the yarn was pooling pretty badly and C) I didn't really like the yarn at all, actually. (Why on earth did I buy so much red yarn in 2009? I'm really more of a blue/green kind of girl.) So I frogged it, and was completely thrilled to find Koigu on sale for 30% off at one of my LYSs, in a colourway I'd almost bought two months ago!


I've been dying to try Koigu because I love sock yarn with a tight twist... the way the yarn starts to look almost like a strand of pearls... love that. So far, it's wonderful to work with, too! Once I've gotten a little further, I'll take a photo to share.


  1. I LOVE that sweater! The colour is perfect.

  2. Yay, thank you! I'm dying to wear it! Now to decide on how long to make the sleeves. The pattern indicates elbow-length. It's a bit of an in-between length, but I think it's part of the charm of the pattern?

  3. That's a really great blue. I am hesitant about Ultra Alpaca, but only because sometimes my fingers get itchy when I knit with yarn with alpaca content. In particular it seems like an awesome sweater yarn, so maybe I will have to get over my fears and try it out. And I am totally with you on loving tight, twisty sock yarns like Koigu.

  4. You know, it might be worth giving it a go. A few years ago I made a scarf out of a really expensive, 100% baby llama yarn and it ended up being the itchiest thing I've ever made (so sad as it was so soft in the ball!), but I haven't had any trouble with Ultra Alpaca. I've knit a hat with it, and my friend knit me a cowl, and neither itches at all. But, then again, llama is not alpaca, so that might not be a fair comparison. Is it the guard hairs that cause your fingers to itch, or something else?

    Also, I believe UA is 50% alpaca/50% wool, so perhaps the wool content eases any alpaca-itchiness? Ugh, it is hard to make these decisions when it's such a big investment. I spend a lot of time reading the yarn comments on Ravelry, trying to determine what might work for me. But ultimately it does seem to be very personal, what we're sensitive to and what we aren't!