Starting on Saturday, June 13, we will be offering a new summer yarn blend! The fiber content of this new blend is 51/25/24 Baby Alpaca/Linen/Tussah Silk - a perfect yarn for all of your warm weather knits!
Whenever I bring on a new base, I like to provide a list of suggestions for patterns to pair with the yarn. You can find the pattern bundle here on Ravelry, where I have curated a small but mighty group of patterns that you might like to use with this yarn. All patterns are size inclusive up to at least a 60" bust including intended ease.
Never worked with plant fibers or alpaca before? I'd love to give you a few tips!
Knitting with plant fibers and alpaca is going to be a different experience from knitting with sheep's wool. While you are getting acquainted with new fibers, I would recommend knitting a non-fitted garment like a shawl or a wrap where size is less essential. That will allow you to get a feel for the way the yarn behaves before and after blocking and before and after wear.
Linen is a nice, cool fiber for warm weather thanks to its higher conductivity, is absorbent and dries faster than cotton, and gets softer the more you work with it/wear it. The spinning process often leaves little "slubs" in the yarn which give finished products a "tweedy" effect. Linen can sometimes hide more subtle texture, so you'll probably be happiest choosing a simple pattern with basic details that will really shine in this blend.
Baby Alpaca is luxuriously soft and makes this yarn a dream to work with. Alpaca is considered more "hairlike" than sheep wool and the fiber itself is much smoother on the surface. This means that the fibers are less likely to grab onto each other and your knits are more likely to stretch over time. The linen/silk portion of the blend helps counteract this fairly well by being much more rigid fibers, however all three elements of this blend are lacking in elasticity in some way or another.
Elasticity is the ability for something to be stretched and bounce back to its original shape afterward. When the fibers in this blend are stretched, they will remain stretched and not bounce back. This is really only essential to account for when knitting fitted garments like a top or a sweater. In those cases, you may want to crop the length a bit or knit at a tighter gauge so that when the fibers stretch slightly after being blocked, you will get your intended fit! You can also block as you go to make sure you get the right fit and, most importantly, make sure to knit a gauge swatch!
Once you get to know these fibers a little bit better and gain confidence in knitting with them, they will quickly become favorites!