A few weeks ago (I know, behind the times here) Portland held its first-ever Greenfest, a celebration of all things eco. Seeing as how the bearded fellow is an environmental educator for a living, he was hosting a booth and I offered to tag along.
It is a good thing I did, as we arrived to bustling crowds eager with questions. It is also a good thing that I know how to recycle. Otherwise, I would have sat there and knit while folks asked important questions like, ‘So, if I can recycle blue milk bottle caps, does that mean I can also recycle purple milk bottle caps?’ Recycle it all baby. Recycle it all.
Later in the day, I found myself wandering towards the ‘Green Living’ tent. Upon entering, I immediately spotted the alpaca booth, full of luxurious fiber from PacaNaturals. It must have been my lucky day because the owner, Stacey of Abbott Farm Alpacas, offered me two hanks of her fine fiber to take home and test. In exchange, I offered to create new items for her retail shop here in downtown Portland. Here are just two of her many happy alpacas.
The yarns offered by PacaNaturals are each crafted with Maine fiber and, depending on which yarn it is, blended with domestic or suri alpaca, and merino wool. Skeins are also spun and dyed locally for added charm.
After making a few swatches to familiarize myself with the yarn Stacey gave me, I decided upon two items: one simple knit cowl to show off the qualities of the yarn and a pair of heavily cabled fingerless gloves. First up: the cowl!
This green is a lovely shade akin to sea foam in summer. I chose simple stitches, little bamboo and leaning lace, to put the focus on the softness of the yarn. If only touch-o-vision were actually a thing, you could feel it for yourselves. Disclaimer: Many skeins were caressed in the making of this post.
To contrast the simplicity of the cowl, I decided upon these intricately cabled fingerless gloves. The white yarn is much finer and looked spectacular knit on size 1 needles.
Those bits in the center are a cluster of bobbles which make a neat textural piece to
play with admire. There was only one mishap, which occurred when I began the right glove the same as I did the left. A few minutes (and inches) later, I was back on track with the thumb on the proper side there on the left. No one likes thumbs sticking out in random places. But if you do, let me know. I’m really good at making backwards gloves.
As if a gift from above, this yarn was even softer than the green. It made it easy to frog and remake during the great thumb debacle of 2014. I added picot stitches along the bottom as a crochet afterthought. This tends to happen when I am making projects for other people. I keep fiddling with the finished object, adding edging here, assessing bound off edges, driving myself bonkers over details. With projects I make for myself, it becomes more of, ‘Annnnnnd, done. No need to block it, just gonna wear it.‘ sort of thing. Ya know what I mean?
Yarn distraction! Those little fuzzy bits equate to soft caresses for your fingers to enjoy as you knit along. I keep saying it, but truly this yarn is a dream to work with. Good thing, too, because Stacey gifted me with a whole bin of new yarn to work with. Currently on my needles: a rich blue version of the cowl from above, adjusted for longer length and width.