Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Alpaca advice

So, I learned how to knit as a kid, then did nothing for 20 years, then knit 3 pretty simple sweaters, then did nothing for 5 more years. This fall, though, I went on a spree and have knit several scarves & hats and started Ivy. I say all this so you will know that I don't quite know what I'm doing. My black wrap sweater was stolen (along with my bag) last summer, so I really wanted to do black (plus I feel fat and it's slimming), and I chose Frog Tree sport weight alpaca - mostly because it was the only thing I could find that was the right gauge on the right needles and I'm not good at adjusting. And I insist that it be excruciatingly soft and non-itchy.

I love the yarn, but it's so fuzzy and dark that it's really hard to see the stitches and I make a lot of mistakes. However, you can barely see the cables at all, so it doesn't matter if I make mistakes. On the other hand, why go through all of that trouble if you can't see the cables really? (it looks like curvy ribbing). I got all the way up to the stockinette section and realized I was knitting the wrong size, and so I started over - but went on a trip for work and lost my place and dropped some stitches when the holder thing fell off and now I can't figure it out, so I'm about to start again.

My question - is knitting this in fuzzy Alpaca totally idiotic? Should I switch to a less fuzzy yarn, and if so, how do I figure out what yarn to use? (And is yarn returnable?) This was the only one in the store that was 6 inches on #4 needles. I do sort of like the alpaca, but it does seem like a lot of trouble to twist the cables when you can barely tell. I'm not in love with cabling (I knit on my very long commute, so it's kind of a pain on a moving bus).

Thanks for your thoughts, for the great pattern, and for the blog!


Blogger Glenna C said...

Hi Dolly!
That is so tough when you lose your place and have to start over! If you're really having frustration with the yarn you purchased, ask at your LYS what the return policy is - some stores have different ones. But I think it is pretty standard to at least exchange for store credit.

My suggestion if you are starting over would be to start with one of the sleeves, not the back. You'll be able to progress a bit faster and see how the pattern works up and that will give you a better idea of whether you like the look. There are a few others here on the KAL using dark colours, so I think the colour you use is mostly personal preference! I have considered knitting one in black, myself ;)

8:03 AM  
Blogger Dolly said...

Thanks, that is great advice!! I'm actually happy with the yarn overall, but just wonder if it's the best with the cables. Otherwise it's really soft and delicious. I like the idea of arming it first - I'll give that a go! Thank you for such a great pattern!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Yay alpaca! I too am using a sort of fuzzy alpaca from Knitpicks and have been singing its praises. Keep going! Woo hoo! You can do it! I am using a very dark red color and was afraid you couldn't see the cables and had the same thoughts. Try a sleeve and see what you think. Look at it in different lights, including outside. See pictures on my blog for further Good luck!

9:01 PM  

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