Tales of an alpaca sweater …

Do you remember my post about the sweater I was working on?  Well, it’s finally finished. It’s a sweater for my hubby. I crocheted it 100 percent alpaca in a dark grey.


Well, I finally finished it. He tried it on. It fit. I then hand-washed in homemade wool wash (a topic for another post) and laid it flat to dry.

Do you want to see it?


Mike’s sweater is huge! He likes them loose, but this is a bit much.

How did that happen? I crocheted the pattern correctly, my tension was good. I measured everything and counted my stitches.

If you know about alpaca fiber, you probably already guessed what happened. I obviously didn’t know.

After I finished the sweater,  when I was feeling good about my completed project, I read some articles to learn how to spin alpaca for Spinzilla.  While reading, my stomach suddenly dropped to my feet leaving me feeling nauseous. The article said:

One hundred percent alpaca must be blended with another fiber, like wool, in order to prevent stretching.

I repeat:

My sweater! I had botched another one! At the same time it dawned on me that the alpaca yarns that I have purchased in the past are mixed with other fibers. I had always wondered why. Now I knew.

My first impulse was to frog the sweater immediately but I calmed myself down. Maybe the stretch was gradual. Try washing it. If the stretch was slow, Mike could still wear it and we could wash it to bring the fibers back together.

No such luck. Do you think it would look better with leggings? Just kidding, dear.

The good thing is that I can use this alpaca in a weaving project. I found out recently from Sara Lamb, author of “Spin to Weave: A Weaver’s Guide to Making Yarn” that the structure of weaving is such that it supports alpaca fibers and keeps them from stretching.  I could also crochet it again with another fiber and make something bulky. Whew! All is not lost.

And now, I have a box of yarn on the way from Knit Picks. We’re not waiting decades to make another sweater. We’re doing wool this time.

P.S. If you’re wondering about the black stripe over Mike’s face, he’s not hiding from the government. He’s hiding from you. No pictures for this man. Thanks, Mike, for holding up the sweater!

One thought on “Tales of an alpaca sweater …

  1. DinkyDauBilly

    Oh, yes I am. Hiding from the gummint. I couldn’t find my AFDB, so I did the next best thing.

    Speaking of AFDB’s, you should try making them and selling them on Etsy. Looking at all the post-election Facebook hysteria, there’s a market there …


    Get to it, wench!


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