OK, I admit, I’m an addict. I own too many alpaca scarves, and I am OK with this. I wear them with everything. Silk, alpaca and cashmere scarves are my favorite accessory. Nothing lets me hide my un-ironed blouses and still look presentable for office work than a gorgeous scarf.
Sirius Alpacas sells some amazing hand-knit and hand-crocheted scarves. They look like wearable art, with yarns cajoled into beautiful patterns. And, knit from cashmere-soft alpaca yarn, they feel sumptuously silken.
I also have this problem of wanting to make things. When I hear a song that gives me goose bumps, I want to figure out the chord progression on my piano and sing along. (Success rate: low). When served killer chicken parmesan at Guido’s, I have to ask for the recipe and figure out how to make it at home. (Success rate: moderate). And, when I see inspiring knit designs, I want to knit something that feels good and inspires someone else. (Success rate: marginally possible, excruciatingly slow). Every time Sirius Alpacas receives a shipment of scarves, I look at each one longingly, wanting to know how it was made.
How hard can it be, really?
There are only two stitches, knit and purl. The combinations may be infinite, but really, how hard can it be to lay the pattern and repeat?
Therein lies my problem. The repeat.
About a year ago, I picked out an interesting knit scarf pattern and paired it with luscious yarn from a yarn we had made from one of our best alpaca’s fleece. SIRA Secret Obsession’s two-year old dark-rose-gray fiber is downright dreamy, and I’d had it custom blended with 20% ecru Tencel to give it a little more memory and brighten the color. It’s called Heather Rose-Gray Alapca Yarn and it adds memory to alpaca’s characteristic softness.
I took my knitting project on an airplane ride with two friends to Las Vegas last summer. In the air, I added a couple feet of length to the project. On the ground, I didn’t touch it. And that’s the issue. Whenever I’m on the ground, I have something else to do: dinner to make, dishes to wash, animals to feed, pens to muck, games to coach, carpets to vacuum, casinos to play, clubs to dance, martinis to try… Guess what doesn’t happen? That’s right. Knitting. And – in Vegas, believe me, I had plenty of other things to do.
But, time allows us to accomplish great feats. What a real knitter could knock out in less than a week, I took 14 months to complete, but dear readers, let me tell you the elation at having first my first knitting project in 4 years is akin to medaling in the Olympics. OK, maybe it doesn’t take much to thrill me.
The pattern reminds me of bamboo. It’s simple ribbing for six rows, punctuated with four rows of straight knit (garter) stitch. Over and over. I jazzed it up with a little fringe on the ends for some drama.
I’ll be entering my alpaca scarf into The Great Geauga County Fair this month. I don’t expect to win anything. I’ve seen the intricate shawls, gorgeous sweaters and man-size blankets made by my competition, the real knitters (show offs). My teeny scarf doesn’t compare. But, I know – it went to Las Vegas – and if it could tell stories, I’d never be able to give it away.
Sirius Alpacas is a family farm in Chardon, Ohio that raises and boards alpacas for fun, therapy and profit. The farm uses its fleeces in the production of high-quality yarns and felted goods.
Sirius Alpacas also imports fair-trade Andean items including socks, scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters and more from Peru and Bolivia, offering the style and culture of South American goods while helping the farmers, artists and craftsmen of that region. Lori Weber, co-owner of Sirius Alpacas, is the creator and writer of this alpaca blog. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.