A Guide to Knitting With Alpaca Wools and Garment Care
Knitting is one of those hobbies that is very enjoyable and also rewarding when you end up with your finished project. Alpaca wools are a great material to use regardless of the level of skill you currently have. Alpaca fleece is quite easy to work with, even for the novice, and it has beneficial qualities such as being lightweight, hypoallergenic, water resistant, warm and soft. Alpaca wools are perfect for knitting baby clothes, jumpers, scarves, and beanies for both children and adults. Some of the most popular alpaca knitwear creations also include blankets and throw rugs that are perfect for your personal use or to give as a gift.
When you are working with alpaca wools, it is important to note that the thickness of the alpaca yarn will vary, depending on how it has been spun. If you are making a jumper and you are looking to create something very warm and thick, you will need to choose a thick alpaca yarn to complete the project and meet your requirements. It is also a good idea to use thick yarns if you are knitting a blanket or throw for winter, and if you want a lightweight throw to use all year round, consider using an alpaca yarn that has been finely spun. A fine thread is also more suitable to use on items made for babies and young children. Depending on the thickness of the yarn, you will also need to choose the appropriately sized knitting needles. You will usually find detailed information on the wool packaging in relation to choosing correctly sized knitting needles.
Knitting wools also come in different strands and you will have the option of choosing between a single strand or a double strand. Double strands will help to create bulk and warmth when you are knitting a jumper and knitting with a single strand of wool is perfect for garments that are daintier. When you are knitting with a double strand alpaca wool the garment will become quite heavy to work with and therefore requires the use of thicker knitting needles to accommodate the additional weight. Wool obtained from an Alpaca is very fine, even if it is double stranded, and it can be easy to accidentally slip the needle in between the strand fibres, however as you gain more experience and get a good feel for the wool, this will be less of a problem.
Caring for your garment correctly, after it has been completed, is an important step and the specific care instructions will vary depending on the wool you have chosen to use. Alpaca knitwear, as with many other wools, will need to be washed with care, by hand. It is also important to wash the item before giving it as a gift, or wearing it yourself. You will need to ensure it maintains the correct shape, therefore, hanging it on a clothesline with pegs is definitely out of the question. Many people purchase a special airing mat, and all that you will need to do after washing the item by hand, is to lay it out flat on the mat, blot out any excess moisture and leave it to air and dry. It will take quite a while for it to dry properly, however it is necessary to ensure the garment stays in shape.