"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Scarf's Story: 2014 My First Year Using Alpaca Fiber

I knit two bunnies from this fiber I bought at Sue's in Jamesport, Missouri.

I knit one bunny from the Boucle Mix, and the bunny hopped across the pond to live with friends there.

This luscious alpaca silk yarn I purchased from talented Rebekka's Camellia Fiber Co.

My youngest son and I visited Prince Edward Island in September.  I had dream's of absorbing the beauty of LM Montgomery's setting for writing Anne of Green Gables.  My son dreamed of playing golf.  Our dreams came true!  

While on the island one thing neither of us had dreamed of was visiting Green Gables Alpaca Farm, but we did that, too.  Tim took the photos of some of the alpaca on the farm.  The alpaca were not keen  on smiling for him, but rather were intent on enjoying a meal.  

When I got back to Oregon I ordered some alpaca fiber from Green Gables Alpaca Farm to knit a scarf for Tim for Christmas as a remembrance of our great trip. My friend Teresa gave me some guidance on knitting the scarf, 22 stitches on size 8 needles:

First Try...knit 2, purl 2,....get distracted... rip out.
Second Try...repeat first try...get distracted... rip out.
Third Try...knit one row, purl one row...get distracted...rip out.
Fourth Try...knit, knit, knit, knit...

Darling granddaughter came to visit.  Grandma looked up to see her darling granddaughter waving a pair of empty knitting needles around...the very needles that had held the Fourth Try.  Mercy!  Darling granddaughter said she is sorry and offers to help get the stitches back on the needle.  Grandma forgave her and hastens to say she will put the stitches back on the needle, then miraculously succeeds in doing so...both the forgiving and the getting the stitches back on correctly the first try!

I knit and knit and knit and finished the scarf on Christmas Eve!  Hooray!

After Tim unwrapped the scarf he immediately modeled it for me...I spared him the harrowing tale of the scarf's birth.

While I have not got the hang of spinning alpaca fiber yet, I have enjoyed knitting my first alpaca fiber projects this year, and just before Christmas I purchased 285 yards of 80%alpaca 20%silk in a logwood and iron shade that is begging me to knit something wonderful.  I had another scarf in mind when I bought the fiber, but it only took 180 yards to make Tim's scarf so I am debating whether to make a longer or wider scarf or something else.

Do you have any suggestions for my first alpaca project of 2015?

Happy New Year!!!



  1. Oh dear and such a journey for a wonderful scarf lol I have never used Alpaca but have felt the softness and the warmth, lucky Tim xoxoxo

  2. Hi Gracie. I laughed out loud at the saga of your scarf for Tim. He looks very pleased to wear it and very handsome too! Maybe use the new yarn to knit a longer wider scarf/shawl for you to wear over your shoulders. I love the softness of alpaca and think they are such cute animals. We have several alpaca farms around here and enjoy seeing them as we drive by.
    We're staying in tonight instead of going to the churches party as planned because my back isn't cooperating with me at all today. My goal. It will be better to begin 2015.
    Thank you for all you mean to me my dear Gracie. I am SO VERY blessed to have you in my life. You have given me such wonderful insight when we've talked and I truly wish we lived closer so we could have more such talks with no time limits. :-)
    Blessings always my friend. Happy New Year!

  3. Gracie, it was good to see you in the pool today! You're such a good friend. I will be counting you as one of my blessings this year. Your son is so handsome and he looks very happy with the gift you made for him. I went to that website and found that she is all sold out of her alpaca yarn, you are lucky to get some! I hope to see you on Friday for lunch and for our swim. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

  4. Tim looks wonderful with the scarf on and although he may not know the whole story he will feel each and every stitch that is filled with love. There are so many things you can make with that yarn, how about a scarf and a hat or mitts? I love alpaca it is so soft and dreamy. Actually I am knitting a cowl with my new alpaca yarn right now.
    Wishing you and your wonderful family the very best 2015 Graice.
    Hugs to you,

  5. Lovely scarf, Gracie!! The yarn looks very soft. I have never tried alpaca yarn.
    Happy new year to you and your family:)

  6. I can just image how lovely and soft the scarf must be. A very happy new year to you.

  7. The scarf ended up looking wonderful my dear friend. 285 yards ... Hum ... You can make a cowl, a scarf, a hooded scarf ( possibly) ? And maybe a shawlette ( pimplese perhaps?) , no matter what you choose to make it will be beautiful . Happy new Year to you my ear friend.

  8. Bravo for sticking with the scarf, it has turned out beautifully!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2015, full of happiness, peace and good health.


  9. The scarf is lovely Gracie and suits your son well. I think I would make something like a shawl for yourself. Happy New Year to you and yours . Hugs Anne x

  10. Tim looks so look you I think... What a lovely mome to of such a happy trip xxx

  11. He looks great in it, I wish I could feel that yarn - I wouldn't mind a stroke of his beard too!!! Jo x

  12. Yikes! Glad to hear you were able to finish it just in the nick of time. The scarf is a great color. I know nothing about knitting except that there are definitely some yarns that do better with it than crochet. Wishing you and yours all the best for the new year. Tammy

  13. Happy New Year Gracie. Your son looks happy modeling his new scarf. I've never tried alpaca yarn before, but it looks very luxurious and soft. Wishing you a lovely 2015. Heather

  14. Nice job on the scarf; sounds like it has quite the story! Enjoyed the photos of the alpacas.

  15. Great scarf and wonderful, realistic story of its creation:) Such is life is it not? Loved seeing your photos of the alpacas! Whenever we drive by an alpaca farm I am captivated by their cuteness.
    God bless you in 2015!
    Blessings, Aimee

  16. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!Your scarf looks great Gracie! How about knitting an alpaca shawl next?
    Sarah x

  17. Wishing you a very Happy new year! I love the story on the scarf and glad you managed to make it time for Christmas. I knitted a hat for my son, it is far to big and I have have to unpick it and start all over again! Sarah x

  18. I love the story of the scarf! Especially it's near fatal accident at the hands of grand-daughter! Well saved :) I also think knit, knit, knit, knit (is that garter stitch ??) is underused, I was very much taught that the look of it is the "wrong" side, but actually, it's perfectly lovely in its own right, has a great texture.

  19. I recommend a scarf and a pair of matching mittens for your first alpaca project of 2105. PS: do you want some unspun alpaca fiber??? I have some just sitting waiting for a new owner...
    You are a very gracious grandma :)

  20. What a funny story you told of the scarf and the mishaps leading up to its eventual completion......it was well worth all those tries though! Your son makes a great model, and the scarf looks lovely and softly textured. Maybe make another scarf now, for yourself, dear Gracie, to keep you cosy! I love alpaca yarn and have been making things with an alpaca mix which is also lovely, soft amd warm and light.
    Wishing you happy crafty times in this new year!
    Helen xox

  21. Amazing story! I once saw an old woman in Greece spinning directly from her goat. Don't suppose you could do that with alpaca? I have been thinking of you this Epiphany day, Gracie. My husband's father, who was Ukranian, celebrated his Christmas on Epiphany, and we think of him every year though he has been gone for 23 years now. I know you are interested in the Orthodox church, so perhaps you have had a special celebration today? In any case, a very Happy New Year to you, and a happy Epiphany!

  22. Hi Gracie - Love the story and the scarf. Your son must have been thrilled with his gift - it looks perfect on him.
    Enjoy this lovely, peaceful time of year. I look forward to reading more of your knitting adventures.

  23. Oh what a wonderful story, it made me smile! Happy new year, lovely Gracie - may it be filled with all things good and gracious :-)
    Hugs xx

  24. Glad you managed to fix it, there's nothing worse than all your stitches fall off and unraveling!

    I've never used alpaca wool so as for what I'd make with it... A hat, if it's warm? x

  25. Alpaca is sooo soft and cozy. Love! Your scarf went through quite the journey being made, but you would never know it to look at it. It is beautiful! And what a thoughtful gift to remember your visit to Green Gables. :)

  26. I LOVE knitting with alpaca. I'm just sad that so many folk in the US and the UK jumped onto the alpaca bandwagon that alpaca fibre prices have dropped, putting alpaca herds in some places at risk of destruction.

    Belatedly, Happy New Year x

  27. The scarf is lovely, as much for the love and sentiment behind it as for the yarn and pattern. What a nice gift.

    A very, very belated happy new year to you Gracie, I hope you're well. x

  28. Wonderful scarf, Gracie! I great first project! Glad you were able to fix the disaster, and glad you were able to get the yarn from the farm. The alpacas are very cute. Wish you all the best in your future projects!


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