crafts · knitting · patterns

weekly randomness

So I finally got a new camera, and I have been amusing myself by taking photos of the cats.

Dionne appears to be less entertained than I.  Oh well though!  I got a Canon and I love it – the picture quality is much nicer than my old camera, and we got a good price on it at a labor day sale!

I’m working on my bobbled cardigan and considering what to make next.  I really want to make one of these 2 sweaters, both from Rowan Vintage Style:

The problem is my yarn choice.  Salina (the first sweater) is knit in felted tweed.  I love felted tweed, but it contains alpaca, which I am very allergic to.  In fact, nearly every nice tweed that I look at, other than traditional rough tweeds, contains alpaca. I know it makes the yarn soft, but even 5% alpaca content totally rules out a yarn for me (knitpicks has a nice new tweed that I really want, but it’s a no go for that reason!)  I don’t want something like Jo Sharp’s tweed, because I’ve used it before and it makes a soft but stiff fabric.  There should be more dk tweeds… Demi (the 2nd sweater) has lots of options because it’s a worsted weight.

Sorry for the rantiness, but I spend a lot of time looking for yarns that don’t contain alpaca or llama.  I’m a little allergic to angora, but it’s tolerable in small doses.  I’m afraid to try other fibers – for instance, camel – because I fear having a bad reaction.  It’s funny that I’m allergic to these animals, but not at all to any house pets.    I am, obviously, a big fan of plain old wool.

I’m also thinking of starting a crochet sweater I have yarn for, or knitting the dress from the new Kim Hargreaves book.  Would I wear a knitted dress?  Perhaps not, but I can always pretend it’s a tunic!

29 thoughts on “weekly randomness

  1. Your new camera takes lovely pictures (and the subject of them is cute too)! I’m a bit of a newb still so I’m afriad I’m not much help with yarn choice but I could see you pulling off a knitted dress.

  2. I’m allergic to alpaca as well, and I want to knit these very same sweaters – esp. the cabled one in black. I was thinking of using a tweed from Beaverslide Dry Goods. Jared Flood has shamelessly promoted their yarns, and he’s right. Very nice. BTW – the new Knitpicks tweed isn’t so fabulous… nothing to curse your allergy over.

  3. That is one cute kitty! I’m with you on the tweed trouble. I can’t do alpaca or mohair either. I can do angora, and I quite like Debbie Bliss’ luxury tweed, which comes in worsted weight or chunky. I also liked Beaverslide’s McTaggart Tweed, which is chunky, soft, and 100% merino (I think).

    Regular all-wool tweeds tend to be very hard on my wrists and hands.

  4. What breed of kitty is Dionne? She reminds me of my own Russian Blue baby, with those big green eyes and beautiful coat.

    I love love love both those tweedy fall sweaters!

  5. what about Berroco’s Blackstone Tweed?
    It’s 65% Wool, 25% Superkid Mohair, 10% Angora Rabbit Hair… I’ve felt it at a store knitting up and it’s very soft…

  6. What about the new Berroco Vintage Wool? I do realize it has a big acrylic content, but I hear it is very soft and a great price with lots of yardage. A girl I know works in a knit store, and she says she can’t wait to buy much more of this; she was that impressed. The colors are really nice too-very similar to the Ultra Alpaca.

  7. You may want to see if you can track down some Rowanspun Dk tweed. It has been discontinued for awhile, but you can still sometimes find it on ebay or destashes. It is 100% wool, but is soft as it is somewhat loosely spun. (this does make the unknit yarn a bit fragile, but it is fine when knit)

  8. Which camera? I LOVE my Canon!!! I’m making Salina out of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (65% wool and 35% silk). Love it so far. Demi is also on my list though I don’t know what yarn I’ll use…

  9. I third the suggestion for Queensland Kathmandu DK. I have made 2 pairs of fingerless gloves from that yarn and it is delightful!

  10. What a great subject your cat is…she seems to be hamming it up for the camera. That’s too bad about your allergy to alpaca. I have found it to be the softest thing I touched and have made a couple things from it. It’s funny how you can tell by touch. I made my daughter the owl sweater from Rowan Cocoon and it felt soft but she needs to find something to wear under it because in truth when she put it on it was too itchy.

  11. Aw ~ what a cute kitty photo! I have to enjoy cats vicariously through other people’s photos and stories.

    I’m the opposite of you – extremely allergic to cats, but fine with washed fibers like angora and alpaca. It’s the dander and saliva that get me, the actual fibers I’m ok with. Hope you find a tweed that works well for you.

  12. Both of those have been on my list for a long time, and I’m also allergic to alpaca! If you find a good sub, please do let me know.

  13. I would also suggest Silky Wool for Salina. A lot of people subbed that in for Felted Tweed when knitting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. It feels stiff while knitting it up, but it softens considerably in the wash and gets nice and drapey (I knit a top out of it earlier this summer). It also has incredible yardage.

  14. Awww, great cat picture! Did you get the Canon Rebel? That’s the one I have and I love it.

    On the tweed – what about Berroco Blackstone Tweed? It is soft and has no alpaca content. It is: 65% Wool, 25% Superkid Mohair, 10% Angora Rabbit Hair. You said you were slightly allergic to angora – what about mohair? I bought this yarn yesterday at Stitches intending to use it for the Central Park Hoodie, and it is very soft – however, it knits up too “holey” at ball band gauge. I think it is really more of a light worsted than an aran as advertised.

  15. I was also going to suggest Rowanspun, if you can find some in the colour you want. It feels a little fragile but in fact it knits up to be fairly sturdy, and softens beatifully with wear. You might want to use a slightly tighter gauge than usual (maybe half a needle size down) because of the way it softens. It is lovely, though.

  16. Another vote for Silky Wool as a sub for felted tweed. I used Silky Wool for my Riding to Avalon, it had a great tweedy appearance, it was a bit rough when knitting but softened up nicely after blocking, and the yardage/price is good.

  17. I absolutely LOVE Salina. If I weren’t afraid of seaming, I’d make that one. I feel sorry about your alpaca allergy. 😦 I can’t knit with anything angora, but not because I’m allergic – I just can’t stand the fluffiness. It’s soft, but I seem to inhale half of it in the process. So not worth having bunny fluff all over the apartment for weeks!

    I’ve seen some stunning versions of Demi on Rav. It didn’t catch my eye when I first flipped through the Vintage book (nor the fourth or fifth time) but I’m warming up to it.

    As for the knitted dress.. I totally want to make that too. I’m just afraid of getting a saggy butt, since I spend so much of my day sitting down at a desk. 😛

  18. New cameras are fun! Dionne is beautiful, and a nice model too.

    That is sad that you’re allergic to alpaca. I’m allergic to rabbit angora so I can commiserate.

  19. Ooooh, kitty!

    I’m sorry you’re allergic to alpaca. I’m allergic to angora, which is also soft and fluffy. Why can’t we all be allergic to Fun Fur???

  20. I hate to say it, but I’m glad to see other people are allergic to alpaca. Folks at yarn stores and sheep & wool festivals look at me like I’m a nut when I say I can’t wear alpaca. I returned some felted tweed when I realized it had the itchy fiber in it!

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