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Opinions on Alpaca please.

(16 Posts)
Ohbyethen Sun 02-Mar-14 02:39:04

I know we have lots of Alpacas on MN - maybe they can advise from the other side of the fence?

I wondered if anyone had opinions or experience of Drops yarn? I am considering either their 100% wool or their wool/alpaca mix (60:40 ish ratio wool:alpaca I believe) which is Drops Nepal - it's going to be a crocheted blanket for my mum, it doesn't matter that it's hand wash only as she has no pets or dc in the house and will, more than likely, just stroke it occasionally rather than use it.
But I would like it to be soft and warm and she needs a natural fibre - she won't combust at the touch of acrylic but that's her preference- does alpaca feel nicer than pure wool? I've have never come across it irl so don't even have a swiftly groped jumper to compare to.
Also any other tips or comments greatly appreciated.

Sid77 Sun 02-Mar-14 03:35:51

I thought this was a question re naming a baby.... smile

WillieWaggledagger Sun 02-Mar-14 04:29:27

Alpaca is lovely and soft and warm and lightweight. I don't know about the Drops mix specifically but alpaca tends to have a slight fuzzy halo which is very attractive. The only thing to be wary of is it's not very elastic (will stretch out I shape easily under its own weight if this isn't taken into account, and won't ping back like sheep wool), but the blend with wool will help to counteract that, and for a blanket that's less of a concern.

this is the Ravelry page for the yarn - if you click on the comments tab you can see what others have said about that brand specifically

littleomar Sun 02-Mar-14 04:34:46

I can't wear or knit with alpaca because it makes me itch, which is really annoying. Check this doesn't apply to your mum/you!

Ohbyethen Sun 02-Mar-14 04:41:25

Sid don't be silly, Llama and Camelid aren't getting a sibling. Honestly hmm grin

Willie that is great thank you. I've only just started using ravelry on my phone and hadn't found that. Thank you for the behaviour advice, duly noted, that also explains why there is so much wool in it.
I'm off for a browse. thanks

Ohbyethen Sun 02-Mar-14 04:43:24

Little oh no! Thanks for the tip off - what a great post surgery gift that would be - here ma, have a blanket made of ant bites and nettles, love you - will test first.

WillieWaggledagger Sun 02-Mar-14 05:00:24

Good point littleomar, I find angora makes me sneezy to knit with though I can wear it

A blanket wouldn't be worn next to skin in all likelihood so hopefully as long as no especial sensitivities it wouldn't be itchy

ComfyLeatherChair Sun 02-Mar-14 05:28:04

I'm crocheting a cowl with Rowan alpaca colour as I type, it idlovely to work with and very very soft and tactile.
I've also made some slippers with alpaca cotton, they looked felted!
I love the thought of a blanket made of alpaca, sounds like a stunning gift

maclover Sun 02-Mar-14 08:17:59

I'm currently crocheting a blanket for a wedding present for good friends, using Drops Alpaca. I've double stranded, because they wanted something a little chunkier (single stranded is v thin). It is gorgeous, and 'drapes' well. However, it is also v warm, and is going to be quite heavy when finished.

I love it, and am going to make one for us when finished! Drops alpaca is a lovely wool.

CocoBandicoot Sun 02-Mar-14 09:34:47

You can get around itchiness by treating the blanket once you've finished it.

I made an alpaca/wool mix scarf for my mum for Christmas (it was one of the Rowan yarns) and it looked gorgeous but quite itchy. I read some suggestions online about washing it with hair conditioner (which makes sense, I guess, since it IS hair!) I mixed a dollop of hair conditioner with some luke warm water and let the scarf soak it in for about 15 minutes, then gently it washed it in fresh warm water to get the conditioner out. Pressed it in a towel to get most of the moisture out and then let it air-dry for a couple of days. Came out lovely, soft and non-itchy.

Flossyfloof Sun 02-Mar-14 11:53:49

I went to an alpaca farm just before Christmas. It was fabulous. They sell yarn and do classes - I have no idea how their prices stack up, they were pretty expensive but worth comparing I should think. Toft alpacas near Rugby.

Chocolateteabag Sun 09-Mar-14 19:36:16

Toft is lovely but £££ compared to Drops.
DM knitted a gorgeous hat for ds2 in Toft alpaca - very soft and non itchy for a newborn. But for a blanket, I 'd go with the Drops or take out a bank loan

Saralyn Sun 09-Mar-14 19:51:39

I've used Nepal for mittens and sweaters and really like it. Another good option would be two strands of Drops Alpacca, like maclover mentions.

If your other alternative is the Drops Alaska, then Nepal is definitely the best out of the two.

lljkk Sun 09-Mar-14 19:52:59

For a second I thought this was the Baby names topic.
I just can't WAIT until "Alpaca" comes up in Baby Names.
(only on MN)

Purlesque Tue 11-Mar-14 12:35:23

I just crocheted a baby blanket/lap blanket using Drops Lima, wool and aplaca, it worked out really well. I love the colour choice.
I haven't washed it but I lightly steamed it and it took it well.

drspouse Tue 11-Mar-14 12:53:56

I'm currently knitting a cardigan in an alpaca yarn - Hummingbird. I have used an alpaca from Texere before (I don't think they do it any more sad) and it didn't happen with theirs, but this one makes my hands very dry, I think it's the lack of lanolin.

But no lanolin does mean some people can wear it that can't wear wool.

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