Today I am sharing one of my knit projects from the past: a shawl I made as a gift for my mother using alpaca yarn. This project was really neat because my mom purchased the yarn from a woman in her deep water class after learning of her small alpaca farm. The woman sends off her alpaca fleece to be spun into yarn, and then sells the skeins as a hobby. Each skein of yarn we received had the name of the alpaca from which it came, which was really fun, and the natural alpaca colors were beautiful.
My mom gave me some guidance on what style shawl she was looking for, and then I got to it. Working on and off for months, the shawl was finally finished about a year and a half later (one of my longest projects yet!).
I did not follow a pattern for this project. Working in a stockinette stitch (alternating rows of knit and purl), I essentially knit up a large rectangular shape. I used circular needles to hold the length of the piece, and alternated two colors to create a striping pattern. The yarn shed like crazy when knitting, so I ended up using an old apron as a smock whilst working to avoid being covered head to toe in alpaca fuzzies. When the piece was finished, I wet blocked it (that is, soaked it in water, pinned the edges out flat onto a bed-sheet, and left it to dry completely) to tame the edges into laying flat.
My mom also wanted fringe on her shawl, so after wet blocking, I added bits of fringe to the bottom edge.
I had initially knit two button holes so that the shawl could be buttoned, but ended up stitching them closed after the positioning seemed to be off. Instead, my father gifted my mom an antique shawl pin that securely fastens the shawl in place and completes the look.
My mother certainly enjoys her one of a kind shawl (more-so in the winter, alpaca fleece is quite warm!). It took a while to complete, but I feel extremely gratified to have been able to make such a personal, unique gift for my mom.
What are your favorite items to knit out of alpaca yarn? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!