Yarn: Martha Stewart Crafts Alpaca Blend Yarn
Fiber Content: 40% Wool, 40% Acrylic, 20% Alpaca
Weight: (5) Bulky, Chunky, Craft, Rug Yarn
Gauge: Knit- 13 st x 18 rows on US Size 10 (6mm) Needles = 4 inches
Crochet- 11sc x 14 rows on Hook Size N-13 (9mm) = 4 inches
Skein: 3.50 oz (100g) / 115 yds (105m)
Colorways: Foxglove, Parakeet, Pea Coat Blue, Winterberry, Sesame, Pussy Willow, Darjeeling, Meadow Green, Coral Pink, Grape Hyacinth, Morning Dove, Magpie, Green Eucalyptus, and Buttermilk
Approx. Retail Price: $9.99 (USD)/skein
Care: Machine wash and dry
Martha Stewart Crafts Alpaca Blend Yarn is a bulky weight, moderately soft yarn with a moderately tight ply. I had no issues with the yarn splitting or the ply unraveling. It has very little stretch but has a lofty, light weight, bouncy quality, unusual for a bulky yarn. Due to the wool and alpaca content, this yarn has a moderate halo and can have a tendency to shed fiber strands. The hand of the yarn is pleasurable, attributable to it's natural fiber content. The yarn has a matte finish and is available in 14 colorways.
I had a hard time deciding what to knit with this yarn. Robin Ulrich offered me her Lavande pattern and I knew the Alpaca Blend Yarn would be a cozy yarn to knit into a neckwarmer, so I decided to knit it. The pattern knit up quickly and the yarn was a pleasure to knit with. It provided terrific stitch definition for the lace panel, button holes, and seed st rib.
Having never knit a garment that needed to be blocked and was knit out of an acrylic blend, I was unsure how to block it. I did a little research and discovered that one should block such a garment according to the most fragile fiber in the blend. So I decided that I should wet block it. Wet blocking did the trick and the wool and alpaca allowed for the shape to be well defined. The yarn actually softened up even more after blocking and provided incredible drape, which I was not expecting. I wondered if I had made the wrong yarn/pattern pair as Robin's piece is more structured. But I soon realized that I just made a simple gauge error, which was fine by me, because this neckwarmer has a cozy, soft, organic feel around my neck.
One Note: If I had read the pattern correctly, I would've noticed that Robin used a Super Bulky Yarn for hers. Since I used the same needle size, I didn't get the structured appearance Robin did. To achieve that look, I could've just adjusted my needle size.
This yarn is perfectly suited for cold weather knit or crocheted accessory pieces. The acrylic in the yarn allows for easy care options, making it perfect for mittens and hats! Although it is also described as a good yarn for sweaters (which I do not disagree with), the sheer amount of the yarn needed would make it cost prohibitive for larger garments.
I really enjoyed working with this yarn and know I'll get a lot of use out of this neckwarmer! Pop on over to your local Jo-Ann's and fondle a skein for yourself! :)
Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Alpaca Blend Yarn FREE for review. KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions in the above review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn. Individual results may vary.