If alpacas don’t bring you joy, are you even a knitter? Once upon a birthday, my super thoughtful husband contacted a (sorta) local alpaca farm and asked if he could bring me there to meet the alpacas as a surprise. They said yes and I had the TIME of my life. I learned so much, I made some friends and, while I liked alpaca yarns before going, I really think the experience made me just LOVE alpaca yarn.
BUT, I don’t always have the budget for pure alpaca yarns. So, I was so tickled to have two of my favorite yarn features: alpaca and tweed sent to me by Mary Maxim Yarns. (Note: I did receive this yarn for free from Mary Maxim with no expectation on a pattern or review but I felt moved to do both. All opinions are my own.)
Yardage: 262 yds
Fiber Content: 77% acrylic 20% Alpaca 3% Viscose
Recommended Needles: 5.0mm
Recommended Hook: 5.0 mm
Overall Quality – This yarn is SOFT. It’s a blend of acrylic and alpaca with a gentle halo of alpaca. I was immediately impressed with this yarn in the skein and working with it is even more impressive. I’m often leary of the amount of excess stretch that sometimes comes along with primarily acrylic yarns, and I was so pleased that this yarn is soft but not excessively stretchy. The tweed aspect of this yarn is also really well done. The specks of color and fiber are spun well into the yarn and really enhance the look of the yarn.
Value – Mary Maxim has this yarn listed on their website for 6.99 per skein and I think the yardage is really generous at 262 yds per skein. One way that I like to assess the Value of a yarn is if I think it’s a reasonable cost to buy a sweater’s quantity of the yarn. Given the generous amount of yardage per skein, I think that this yarn is of excellent value.
Color Selection – There is a wide variety of colors available for this yarn, and I’ve got a few pictured below. I love that the tweed bits in this yarn are all the same shades, so you could absolutely use a skein of each with some strategic striping to get a really interesting fade (this may be a hint towards something I am working on!).
Weight Analysis — There is a halo on this yarn, so I find that the actual spin is really nice, but the strand seems a bit on the lighter side of worsted. The recommended needle size is 5.0 for knitting, but I was more comfortable using 4.5 for this one because it’s delightfully light (I’m a DK girl at heart, so this was a feature I appreciated in this yarn). While I have only knit with this yarn, so far, I think it would be lovely to crochet with too.
Recommended Projects — I’ll let you know what each yarn is calling out to me to be made into. Because, yep, sometimes the yarn speaks to me (Please know I am not being literal. Yarn doesn’t talk. If your yarn is talking to you, please see a professional. Like a therapist. For real.)
Best Qualities – I love that this yarn is light worsted, I also absolutely love that the tweed is well spun into the yarn but still visible. I have definitely had other tweed yarns lose their tweed bits while working and that didn’t happen here at all. I love that the alpaca content is more than the 10% I’ve seen in other commercial yarns, and you can really feel a difference in the softness of the yarn. Also, while the washing instructions say that hand washing is preferable, I may experiment with machine washing this one. I don’t think at the current fiber content that it would felt, and that’s a plus.
Drawbacks — One of the reasons I chose this to be my very first review, is that I really don’t have any problems with it. I suppose if you don’t like a lighter type worsted (or don’t like adjusting needle size for gauge) you might not like working with this yarn, but for me that isn’t an issue at all. The only thing negative I can say about this yarn is that there were a few manufacturer made knots in the yarn, BUT even with that, because the knots are small, and tweed lends itself to some areas where the yarn is thicker than other, it really didn’t bother me! I only found one knot in each of the 262 yd skeins, too, so it was a forgivable flaw. Also, this yarn does shed fiber a little bit, so while I didn’t mind it while working, I am curiousl to see how the finished piece holds up over time.
I am so happy to share a new free pattern: The Old Fashioned Beanie. This beanie is super special in lots of ways. It’s unisex, extremely stretchy and has a cool, vintage look to it. You can find the pattern HERE.