Category Archives: alpaca





I tried this pattern a couple of years ago and it was definitely a very popular choice around here. It’s a great project that doesn’t require too much brain power but makes a great gift! It works up relatively quickly with a bulky weight yarn like Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, hand dyed merino Malabrigo Mecha, or budget friendly Berroco Vintage Chunky.

Yarn Options


  • 5mm/US8 – 16″ circular needles
  • 5.5mm/US9 – 16″ circular needles
  • 5.5mm/US9 double pointed needles
  • stitch marker
  • FREE Pattern
  • Our Project Notes

FREEBIE Cables Love PomPoms



Cables Love PomPoms

It’s that time of year where we start to scramble to make holiday gifts … ideally, gifts that are fast to knit and will be well received. I think this hat fits the bill. It’ll look great on a woman or a man, it’s made with a soft, warm yarn that you’ll love to work with and they will love to wear, and it’s a Freebie too!

Yarn Options


  • 5.5mm/US9 – 16″ circular needles
  • 6.5mm/US10.5 – 16″ circular needles
  • 6.5mm/US10.5 double pointed needles
  • cable needle
  • stitch marker
  • Fur Pompom
  • FREE Pattern


FREEBIE & FINISHED Alpaca Long Beanie

diamond alpaca sport long beanie cream.png

Long Beanie

It’s the end of October, which means that the autumn parade of giftable accessories begins! I started off easy with a Long Beanie, a FREE pattern by Woolly Wormhead. I made mine with one skein of suuuuper soft Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, but you can make it with a number of chunky/bulky weight yarns (see list below). I finished it in a day, which is something I haven’t done in a while!

A Note on Fibre Behaviour

Different fibres behave in different ways. Alpaca has a LOT of drape, and will slouch copiously (Like the Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport). Wool has a lot of body and will keep its shape well (likeMalabrigo Mecha or Malabrigo Chunky). Blends will vary in behaviour, combinations of wool & synthetic will have some drape and also keep some shape (like Berroco Vintage Chunky). Additionally, if you want your hat to drape or slouch more, knit it at a looser tension (on slightly larger needles), and if you want it to have more body and keep its shape, make it with at a firm tension (on slightly smaller needles).

Yarn Options

Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport: 1 skein

Malabrigo Mecha: 1 skein

Malabrigo Chunky SALE:  1 skein

Berroco Vintage Chunky: 1 skein


  • FREE pattern
  • 6mm/US10 – 16″ circular needles
  • 6mm/US10 double pointed needles
  • 1 stitch marker
  • tapestry or darning needle





Cozy Weekend

Since we’re looking towards the Labour Day Long Weekend (how did THAT happen so fast?!) I thought it might be a good theme. This sweater is super cosy and a VERY quick knit on 10mm/US15 needles with affordably priced Cascade Lana Grande.

KNIT HACK: A Note on Ease & Thick Yarns

When choosing a size in a sweater made with a very thick yarn you should always account for a good amount of positive ease (the space between you and the sweater) for it to fit properly. This extra space sounds like it will make the garment too large, but it is actually eaten up by the thickness of the fabric itself. 4″ to 6″ of positive ease is not uncommon. Another thing to consider is that garments made with thicker yarn require space for you to move comfortably in. Looking at the finished measurements of this sweater, a 41″ bust circumference for a size small is not unheard of, especially since the style is a little oversized and casual.


  • Cascade Lana Grande: 7(8, 9, 10, 10, 11) skeins
  • 10mm/US15-29″ circular needles
  • 9mm/US13-29″ circular needles
  • 9mm/US13 double pointed needles
  • FREE Pattern


  • S (M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
  • Circumference at bust: 102(112, 120, 128, 138, 152) cm or 41(45, 48, 51, 55, 61) inches

Labour Day Long Weekend Hours

We will be closed from Sept 2 to Sept 4 for the Labour Day holiday.

  • Saturday Sept 2 Closed
  • Sunday Sept 3 Closed
  • Monday Sept 4 Closed
  • Tuesday Sept 5 11am – 6pm

Return to Fall/Winter Hours

Starting September 18 We will return to our regular Fall-Winter store hours (open Sundays) and our SnB groups will return to their regular dates (Tuesday 12-4, Wednesday 5-8, Sunday 1-5).

Haley Takes a Holiday

I’m taking a week off before the fall rush hits, and Liane will be minding the store from Monday Aug 28 to Friday Sept 1, so please drop by and keep her company! We won’t be shipping anything from August 27th to September 4th, but you can still pick up your online orders in store. I’ll try and post during my R&R, but if I don’t please don’t feel abandoned, it only means I’m very busy relaxing.

FREEBIE Last Minute Pussy-Cat Hat


Super Cat Hat

Just in case you left it to the last minute, here’s a pattern for a super bulky Pussy-Cat Hat. Wear your hat to a Women’s March this weekend, or just as a political statement around town. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

One skein of a super bulky weight yarn like Cascade Lana Grande or Malabrigo Rasta should do the trick, or try holding two strands of a bulky weight yarn together (like Berroco Vintage Chunky, Malabrigo Mecha, Diamond Baby Alpaca Sport).






NEW Cascade Mondo


Cascade Mondo

Cascade Mondo is SUPER bulky and SUPER soft! It’s a soft blend of superfine alpaca and wool, and is best for quick and bold statement pieces, plus it’s suitable for arm knitting. One skein is enough for a cowl, 4 for a throw blanket.

  • 50% Superfine Alpaca / 50% Wool
  • Weight: 400g – 53m (58 yds)
  • Needle Size:  25mm/US50
  • Knitting Gauge: 3 – 4 sts = 4″ (10 cm)
  • Hand Wash, Lay Flat to Dry
  • Pattern Ideas


Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w



FREEBIE Urchin Cowl


Urchin Cowl

Our latest pattern, Urchin, is a simple, textured cowl that can be worn around your neck or shoulders. We used soft and cozy Estelle Alpaca 60, but we know how you like to switch things up and use different yarns so we wrote the pattern for three different thicknesses of yarn. Urchin makes a fast, simple project and a great gift!


  • width: 18”/46cm)
  • height: 11”/28cm

Materials: 3.5 sts/inch

Materials: 2.5 sts/inch

  • Estelle Alpaca 60 (100g/60m-65yds): 4 skeins
  • 8mm-32” circular needles
  • 7mm-32” circular needles
  • 1 stitch marker
  • darning needle
  • FREE Pattern

Materials: 1.5 sts/inch



FINISHED: Haley Special no. 3

The ‘Haley Special’

Today’s update is a rambling personal story without much purpose except to share a quirky, knitterly experience.  This project is the third sweater in an unintentional ‘series’, I’ve started calling them the “Haley Special”.

Once upon a time, a few years ago, I made a sweater based on the Elemental Pullover from the book Knitting 24/7. I say *based* because there is something seriously off with the tension of the pattern (it calls for Ultra Alpaca Light but I think it is supposed to be Ultra Alpaca Fine). I ordered the yarn especially, so being true to myself, I started playing around with the tension, and while I was at it I added some waist-shaping, some length, yada yada yada. By the time I was done I had made so many changes it had become a vanity project (a personal project I keep to myself because the changes are too complicated to download onto clients and people don’t really ‘get’ the yarn’s appeal).

Haley Special 3- Blue 3

Bunched up on the sofa.

What I did not expect was something I had never before experienced – a sweater I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE wearing ( and I’m a person who really likes wearing sweaters). When Ultra Alpaca Light is knit up it has a remarkable elastic quality which holds shaping, and the fabric has a slight halo which seems to prevent pilling.

I wore the crap out of the sweater, so much that I got sick of wearing the same colour all the time. Sooooo …. I consulted my cryptic notes in Ravelry and made another. (Normally when I share a project with you I make sure my Ravelry notes are comprehensible and comprehensive, but unfortunately I’m not as generous with myself.)

Haley Special 3- Blue 2

Up close and personal.

Fast forward to last winter, you know, the really, really long and incredibly cold one in 2014/2015. I wore both sweaters ALL season, from fall to early spring. They held up beautifully, and at the end I was still in love …. but my eyes started wandering all over the shade card. (I know, I hear you, this is approaching a “Big Love” moment, it’s getting to be a bit much.) Well, some time in February, nearing the end of this very warm, uninspiring winter, I managed to churn out yet another incarnation: Blueberry.

I think I’ve become so comfortable with the pattern and the yarn is so buttery that I can whip it up relatively quickly – it was very good knitting for February blahs. Next year I think I’ll expand the family with 4285 Oceanic Mix, which is really my favourite colour. Who knows how big the family will get, I don’t have a black or a grey one …. yet.


  1. Fall 2012: Peat Mix
  2. Winter 2014: Boysenberry Mix 
  3. Winter 2016: Blueberry Mix
  4. Fall 2016: Ocean Mix
Haley Special 3- Blue

After blocking but before wearing.

NEW Ultra Alpaca Light

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light
This yarn is one of my all time favourites. I feel that hyperbole and exclamation marks would diminish my sincerity, I really adore it. It looks normal, but it’s not, when it’s knit up it has a remarkable, stretchy quality and an incredible memory. It also doesn’t drape like most other alpacas, it stands up and holds it’s shape like a brand new pair of boobs. I like it for accessories, but swear by it for sweaters – especially anything fitted or with little or no ease. The texture is slightly fuzzy, it doesn’t pill as much as other yarns, and when it does it isn’t extremely noticeable and it’s really easy to remove. All of the above makes for a very wearable garment, which I like if I’m putting the time & energy into making one by hand. I made a turtleneck with it last winter, wore the hell out of it, and I’ve been planning on making a Wulfenite with it this fall/winter. 

  • 50% super fine alpaca, 50% peruvian wool
  • 50g/133m
  • 3.75mm needles
  • 23 sts & 32 rows = 4″/10cm
  • made in Peru
  • see the colours HERE
  • see more patterns from Berroco using this yarn HERE
  • $7.97/skein

Autumnal Cardigan


Larch Cardigan

  • 9 to 14 skeins Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light
  • 4mm needles (see pattern for details & check your needles)
  • pattern available as a download for $5.95 HERE
  • picture by AshleyTree
  • note: this pattern looks like it is designed to fit loose

From Norway with Love

Some Cloudy Day

  • 1 skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in each colour
  • 3.25mm or 3.5mm or 3.75mm double pointed needles
  • pattern available as a download for $5.95 HERE

Susie’s Reading Mitts

Schoppel Alpaka Queen

Schoppel Wolle Alpaka Queen
My sister-in-law says that the day she met my brother he was wearing a lime green body suit. She says that it was not love at first sight, but she knew immediately that this was a person she wanted to know, and who would probably figure into her life. My feelings toward this yarn are similar. When the sales rep first brought it by I was curious, it is a single ply, but slightly felted, so it has no twist. It comes in natural (sheep-esque) colours, and when knit in a simple stitch it has a very modern, felty aesthetic. I couldn’t stop picking it up, looking at it, holding it, putting it down, and 5 minutes later picking it up again. Whether Alpaka Queen will become a true love (I’m kinda polyamorous when it comes to yarn) I can not yet say, but I think it will definitely figure into my life.

  • 50% alpaca, 50% wool
  • 100g/200m
  • 5mm to 6mm needles
  • 15 sts + 20 rows = 4″/10cm 
  • made in Germany
  • hand wash, lay flat to dry
  • comes in natural colours – see shade card HERE
  • single ply, semi felted texture
  • 1 skein makes a hat/mitts, 2 makes a scarf, 5 makes a sweater
  • $23.97/skein

The picture above illustrates the yarn’s interesting texture – single ply, semi felted, no twist.

  • 5mm needles
  • 3 to 4 skeins Alpaka Queen
  • Pattern available as a PDF download for $6 via Ravelry

Levenwick by Gudrun Johnson

  • 3.75mm, 4mm & 4.5mm circular needles (or size to get gauge)
  • 4+ skeins Schoppel Alpaka Queen
  • Pattern available as a PDF download for $7 via Ravelry

  • 4mm-16″ circular needles 
  • 5mm-16″ circular & double pointed needles 
  • 1 skein Schoppel Alpaka Queen
  • Pattern available as a PDF download for $5 via Ravelry