Alpaca Shawl

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!).

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Bold stripes of natural alpaca yarn. This picture shows the back-side of the stockinette stitch

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.

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Wet blocking 

My mom also wanted fringe on her shawl, so after wet blocking, I added bits of fringe to the bottom edge.

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From the comfort of my sofa, I used a crochet hook to put the fringe on piece by piece

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The fully fringed piece

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.

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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!

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11 thoughts on “Alpaca Shawl

  1. jo creates says:

    that looks so lovely and snuggly! 😊 I did some nice gloves with alpaca for my mum fir Christmas last year. they were thin but warm! I love the nice “fuzz ” that alpaca has!

    Like

  2. Auntie Fran says:

    Love the length. So on circular needles you would be changing colors often as you are working the width. So it was felted. Great shawl story very loving and brought happy tears !

    Like

  3. Susan says:

    I’ve seen this eloquent piece in the making. It’s a beautiful timeless piece to make if you have the patience to work with this fine yarn. I love that look because of its many versatile uses such as a shawl, lap covering ot a blanket. Not only is it lightweight and lovely but it looks so warm and
    comfortable. Thanks for sharing that work of art.

    Like

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