close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Monday, December 8, 2014

Alpaca Dream

I think I've written before about my holiday knitting. I love making things for family and friends, but I also get a little selfish. I need to have a nice, mindless therapy project on the needles this time of year for my sanity. I want you to have one, too, so I'm offering up the Alpaca Dream.
Once you get started, it's just knitting in the round with some luxurious alpaca yarn. What better way to curb any potential holiday stress? You can pick this up and put it down without worry. Just keep knitting.

This project starts with a provisional cast on. Don't be afraid. Basically, you just cast on with some scrap yarn that will be removed later when you graft the ends together. Yes, I said graft. That's not scary, either, it just takes some time. It is also completely acceptable to cast on and off normally and just sew the ends'll have a little ridge at the join. No big deal.
I made one of these for myself last year using some discontinued yarn, but Sally used Shibui Baby Alpaca to create the gorgeous sample we have in the shop. The shades are so rich and unusual...perfect for the big blocks of color.
Come on in and choose your three deserve it.

Alpaca Dream Cowl
by Leah Bandstra
Yarn: 3 skeins Shibui Baby Alpaca (one of each shade)
Needles: US6 16" circular, a spare US 6 for grafting (a dpn works well)


CO 100 stitches provisionally.  
Join in the round, being careful not to twist, place marker.
Knit every round until you run out of the first color.
Knit every round until you run out of the second color.
Knit every round until you have about three yards of the third color remaining. Stop at the marker so you know where to start grafting together to avoid a twist.
Place the live stitches from the cast on onto the spare US6. I like to put 10ish stitches on the spare needle at a time for this part. Graft the ends together. Block a bit and wrap it around your neck!

Disclaimer: When I grafted mine (ahem, six months after I finished the knitting), it looked terrible. My grafting line was all wobbly, and the stitches were far from even. Try to work slowly and adjust your tension as you go, keeping the stitches as even as possible. I spritzed my join with some water after I grafted it, but you could also just wet block the whole thing. The alpaca is heavy enough that the weight of the knitted fabric will kind of pull and even out the tension over time, too. Don't be discouraged!


  1. Hi there, love the scarf, but I just want to ask what does cast on 100 provisionally mean