Sunspun Fine Yarns

Yarn in Focus: Shibui Baby Alpaca

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Vital statistics

100% alpaca
100 g/233 metres
DK/8 ply
Gauge: 22 stitches = 10 cm on 4 mm needles
$26

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What better way to welcome autumn than with Shibui Baby Alpaca, which is also our Product of the Month. Remember, we offer a 10% discount (20% for Sunspun members) on the chosen product of the month, and this yarn is seriously worth the investment.

The overall loveliness of Shibui yarns is well known, and Baby Alpaca is no less irresistible than the rest of their range. It is soft, soft, soft and silky in the hand, with a beautiful halo and the drape on finished items is heavenly to behold. The generous yardage also means that the yarn goes on and on and on.

IMG_1413 (1)The yarn is quite loosely plied (there are three strands), so you do have to watch that you don’t snag one of the strands when knitting. And don’t worry about any slight unevenness in your knitting: once soaked and dried, the stitches plump up beautifully and the swatch evens out with a gentle block. It is soft enough for next-to-the-skin wear, light and warm.

This is one of those 8 plies that’s almost like a sportweight/5 ply yarn, so you are likely able to use Baby Alpaca in patterns that call for sportweight yarn. Just swatch and see how the fabric knits up.

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For a quick one-skein taster, how about Hinagiku Hat – this slouchy beanie has an allover daisy stitch pattern, is worked in the round and completely seamless. It’d make the perfect trans-seasonal hat.

One skein should be just enough to make the justly beloved Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, a triangular shawl that can be made bigger or smaller depending on how much yarn you have – just add more garter eyelet and stocking stitch panels as needed.

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Shibui yarns are made for plying with another yarn for different effects; this Piega cowl by Kristin Ford used a strand each of Shibui Silk Cloud and Baby Alpaca for a braided wonder that is fun to knit and will make a wonderful gift.

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Heidi Kirrmaier’s Climb Every Mountain is a cape-like pullover worked from the top down, seamlessly and in the round, with short rows to shape the neckline. The drape from alpaca will make this truly luxurious.

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Midnight Mix by Judy Brien is a simple and cosy classic sweater, its cable panel lending the piece some texture. There is minimal shaping so this piece, especially in alpaca with its drape, will skim. Because it’s knit top down, you can try it on as you go and adjust as necessary.

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Joji Locatelli’s True is like a knitted hug: a simple, generous cardigan that will be one of those pieces you return to again and again. It’s also convertible.

 

 

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As the Baby Alpaca is so light and warm, it’s ideal for kids’ clothes, perhaps My Honey, a sweet cardigan with a lacy yoke and puffed sleeves that will wear well. (Sample is knit in an alpaca yarn, though not the Shibui.)

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Fans of stranded colourwork may want to try the luxurious lined Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia. Their warmth and your colour choice will chase away all winter blues. There are some stunning finished examples in Ravelry.

 

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