Shadow Capelet in Techno

I just finished up the Shadow Capelet pattern from the folks at Blue Sky Alpacas.  Using three skeins of Techno, the capelet is knit in the round and then turned inside out so the wrong side of the work is actually the outside (and you don’t have to purl the entire thing!).

For a peppy, cheerful look, I chose Posh Pink and Cha-Cha Red as stripes to go with Fame (the cream).

Techno is soft and light, but it is a very insulating yarn – I was working on this inside a chilly coffee shop and it kept my lap quite warm. The capelet is the perfect size to tuck into a handbag in case of over-zealous air conditioning when you are out and about in the summer.

Pattern: Shadow Capelet from Blue Sky Alpacas, designed by Merri Fromm

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Techno; 1 hank each of three colors, shown in #1970 Fame,  #1976 Cha-Cha Red and #1981 Posh Pink

Feature of the Week: March 12

Men’s knitwear patterns are not as common as those for women, so we get pretty excited when we find one that looks amazing and uses an amazing yarn. This Striped Vest from Blue Sky Alpacas fits into the amazing look and amazing yarn category – stripes! a vest! Alpaca Sport!

The vest is modeled with jeans, but could easily complement dress pants or a tie. Alpaca Sport is warm without a lot of bulk and feels soft next to the skin.  Since the yarn is so lightweight, the vest is a great layering piece, wear it under a jacket for a little extra warmth or as an outer layer on a cooler day when a shirt just isn’t enough but a sweater isn’t necessary.

Pattern can be found here.

Yarn can be found here

 

Bunny Week: Itty Bitty Toys Bunny

This long-limbed bunny from Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson is sized just perfectly for a toddler to hold in their arms.  With typical bunny ears, long arms and legs, there is always someplace for little hands to grab on.

Knit using 2 skeins of soft Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton and at 8″ in height when seated, if you add pellets to his rear end, he’ll stay seated on his own.

The bonus part of knitting bunnies is that they usually have a pom-pom tail and this one is no exception.  Such a sweet little puff of tail!

 

Apres Vest in Techno

I promised you this vest in Techno a few weeks ago, and here it is! The pattern is the Apres Vest from Blue Sky Alpacas by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.

After an initial attempt when I accidentally used the wrong needle size (Public Service Announcement: check the size of the needle before you return it to whatever empty needle envelope happens to be sitting on the coffee table.  The two don’t necessarily go together.), the vest went quite quickly.  The ruching pattern is easy to follow and memorize and changing to a large needle for part of it means you can make lots of progress with little time.

The body is in knit back and forth, including the fronts and back, up to the armholes, which are finished with an i-cord bind-off.

The fronts and back are each worked separately up to the neckline, the shoulders are joined with a three-needle bind-off and then stitches are picked up for the collar.  Like the bottom edge, the collar is knit to a fold line, then an inner flap is knit, with the live stitches sewn to the picked-up stitches, creating a hemmed edge.  Once all the knitting is done, there is very little finishing to do!  Weaving in ends, closing a few small openings and sewing on the snap tape are all that remain.

The yarn is so light and fluffy and smooth – it just glides along the needle with little effort or friction, although, as most alpaca yarns, it does shed.   When talking to the gals at Blue Sky Alpacas in June, they assured me that after an initial period, the shedding slows down.

Although the pattern directions don’t mention anything about this, I went ahead and seamed up the openings made from hemming the body edge and the collar.

I can’t wait for cold weather so that I can wear this lightweight vest as a needed layer when out walking the dog, raking leaves or just sitting out around the firepit making s’mores.

Suri Merino by Blue Sky Alpacas

Another new-to-us yarn has arrived at the Woolie Ewe.  Apparently we just can’t get enough of the goodness from Blue Sky Alpacas, because we’ve also added in their Suri Merino line.

Spun in a single ply of 60% Baby Suri and 40% Merino, it feels smooth and soft while working with it, and moves easily on the needles. The Baby Suri lofts while knitting, creating a slight halo effect.

The stitch definition is amazing, but the feel of the finished swatch is even more so.  Ewes are (as always) busy daydreaming what projects to make out of this luxury line. We’re also wishing a way to feel the swatch through your computer monitor would be invented soon because we can’t emphasize enough how lovely the fabric feels.

Suri Merino has a recommended gauge of 5-6 stitches per inch on US 5 – 7 needles and has 164 yds per hank.

Blue Sky Alpacas Techno

We’ve been awaiting the arrival of Blue Sky Alpacas’ latest yarn, Techno, for a few weeks. To sate the immediate desire to knit with this latest luxury yarn, I whipped up this hat from the sample I received at TNNA.  But then, oh, but then, I had to wait until the yarn arrived in the store to actually showcase the hat!

 

I was so enamored of the finished hat that I wore it in the office a few days to keep off the air conditioning chill when I didn’t have a sweater to throw on.

Techno, the yarn, is a silk tube with alpaca blown into it ( and some wool somewhere in that mix) and thus is incredibly warm yet lightweight. Soft and airy, with a bit of halo in the finished product – what is not to like?

The smocked cable pattern was easy to follow and since Techno is a thicker yarn, using US 10.5 needles, I had this hat finished in less than two evenings.

Blue Sky Alpacas features this hat on their website as a free download. Using only one ball of Techno, I can see this being the ‘go-to’ knitted gift item for the upcoming holiday season.

Now that Techno is in the store, I snagged my bag of color #1970, Fame and I’m working on the Apres Vest in it. I hope to have that ready to share with you next week. I’d best be getting my needles clicking!

 

 

Kaw Valley Wrap in Alpaca Silk

We recently expanded our selection of Blue Sky Alpacas yarn to include Alpaca Silk because we just couldn’t live without the opportunity to knit the Kaw Valley Wrap.

Marion knit up the one on display and we just can’t stop oohing and aahing over it whenever we walk past.

The yarn is a luscious blend of alpaca and silk with a slight sheen and wonderful drape.

This wrap and the yarn are the perfect combination.

We’re offering the Kaw Valley Wrap as a class in July, so check that out if you are intimidated by the prospect of lace, or if you just want some company and help on hand while you knit the wrap.

With the addition of the Alpaca Silk line, we took the opportunity to re-organize the Blue Sky Alpaca/Spud and Chloe area and boy, does it look good!

All sides of this island are full of lovely yarns from Spud and Chloe and Blue Sky Alpacas.

We re-stocked the Pretty Cheep project bags and our supply of Spud and Chloe patterns.  Not all of them would fit in the racks here, so two more racks of patterns are just across the aisle.