Saturday, January 21, 2006

Newbie with heaps of catching up to do!

Hi everyone! I know I'm waaaay behind the times with this one, but I live in Australia, and seriously, my copy of IK only just arrived last week. So it's time to get started! It's good to see that many of you are still going, but there are also quite a number of success stories to draw inspiration from. Congrats to those who finally made it!

I noticed that many of you have had problems substituting yarn, and trying to find something suitable seems to be even harder over here. I traipsed across town yesterday and purchased some gorgeous Eki Riva alpaca 4 ply, which according to the ball band should get perfect guage. Somehow in my swatching efforts last night I was only getting 25st, but I think that might have something to do with the dodgy needles I was using, plus the fact that it is currently 43 degrees celcius (don't even ask me to try to convert that, but it's damn hot).

The yarn is sooo lovely, but I'm thinking it might be a bit too delicate for a jumper - I'd hate to be too scared to wear it for fear of causing damage! I've read through the posts for an idea of what other people have been using, most of which aren't available over here. Realistically, the only other 4 ply (other than horrible sock yarn) that I would be able to get is the Rowan 4 ply Soft, and there is only one place in Melbourne that stocks it (yet another trip across the other side of the city), and I wouldn't be able to check it out for another week. It would also cost quite a bit more money, as the yardage is somewhat less than the Eki Riva.

I guess I'm asking for advice really on people's experiences of alpaca, and how well it holds up. I'm sure it would look really stunning, but how practical is it for a jumper? I'm dying to make a final decision so I can get started. All comments gratefully appreciated!


  • I don't see why it wouldn't work--and the yarn in the original pattern was alpaca, so it must wear pretty well, huh?

    By Blogger --Deb, at 10:33 PM  

  • I'm thinking that the sweater is not meant to be one that is worn day in and day out, and that it is meant for an alpaca that is light weight to acheive the right drape.
    I'm using Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino which is very similar to the Rowan 4ply cashsoft both in weight and composition, and while I am right on for gauge I"m feeling the fabric is a little heavier and weightier than I would like for this design.
    I'd say go with the alpaca. Can you buy just enough to make a sleeve, and have them set aside the rest? If you knit a sleeve first you'd see if it gave you a fabric you'd be happy with - and if you weren't you could frog it and have enough for a short scarf or something.

    By Blogger Marji, at 9:12 AM  

  • Welcome to the KAL! Wow, an Australian member, who's willing to knit with alpaca in the dead of summer? Impressive.

    I still need to attach the sleeves to the body of my USMP. I don't know why I keep avoiding it.

    By Blogger Mintyfresh, at 11:44 AM  

  • Thanks for all your advice. I went and checked out the Rowan 4 ply, and after much deliberation, I decided to go with the alpaca anyway. It's just too lovely!

    By Blogger larissa, at 12:06 AM  

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