Idaho Spin-In 2015 Recap

Each year on the last Saturday of March the Log Cabin Spinners host an annual Spin In at the Templin’s Red Lion Inn in Post Falls, Idaho.

Spin In 2015
Our booth at the Spin In

Every year is a little different, but there’s always a marketplace and a spinning area.  We hosted a booth featuring our spinning fiber and spindles and a few other fun things like our rigid heddle looms.

It’s always fun to check out the other vendors and see what everyone is interested in.  There are always farms with their raw fleeces, people selling yarn, and of course lots and lots of fiber.  Mohair, alpaca, different types of wool – you name it, it’s probably in the marketplace.  And lots of different preps – unprepped, roving, batts, and lots of handpainted braided top.

Spin In 2015
The marketplace.

The main feature of the event is the spinning area.  One section of the conference hall is reserved for the spinners to come and spin.  There are wheel spinners and spindle spinners.  They sit in large circles and smaller groupings and spend some or all of the day spinning.  It’s a great way to meet new people, learn more about spinning, and reconnect with other spinning friends.  We got to see some beautiful spinning wheels, and some beautiful spinning.

Spin In 2015
Lots of spinners
Spin In 2015
Spinners spinning.
Spin In 2015
Small group of spinners.

I didn’t bring my spindle with me this year.  I think next year I’ll make sure to bring it along and make time to sit and spin for a while.

I did wander around the marketplace quite a bit.  I got to meet some lovely fiber producers and see some tools I’d never seen in person.  One booth had a picker, and they were using it to prep fiber on site.  A picker is used to get out most of the vegetable matter and fluff the fibers from a clean fleece.  After it goes through the picker it is ready to be combed or carded.

Spin In 2015
The picker in use.

In one of the smaller rooms they had demonstrations of different types of wheels.  They even had a great wheel, which is also known as a walking wheel.

Spin In 2015
Great wheel demonstration.

The great wheel is a type of early spinning wheel.  It’s similar to the kind of spinning wheel you see in the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty.  On a great wheel you turn the wheel manually, which turns the spindle. You then have to wind the spun fiber around the spindle, much like you do with hand spindles.  Modern wheels use a treadle to turn the wheel and a flyer winds the spun fiber onto a bobbin.

I always enjoy the neat things available at the Spin In.  The marketplace is a great place to find fibers that you wouldn’t normally have in person access to.  And it’s always fun to see the fiber enthusiasts in the area gathered in one place.

If you’re local, did you make it to the Spin In?  What was your favorite part?  What other fiber festivals do you like to go to?

Our March Knitting Retreat In Montana

Camp Bighorn Knitting retreat
Camp Bighorn

Every March the Open Knitting group at Alpaca Direct goes on a knitting retreat to Camp Bighorn in Plains, Montana.  It’s a beautiful retreat space and everyone always has lots of fun.

This year we’ll be hosting one in the fall as well.  Here are some photos from our latest retreat on March 12-15.

We had beautiful weather on the retreat and got to go for a hike.  The scenery at Camp Bighorn is beautiful.

hiking at the knitting retreat
Going for a hike.
views
Beautiful views

We also enjoyed some time relaxing at Quinn’s Hotsprings, which is just down the road from Camp Bighorn.

Knitting retreat cabins
The cabins.

Camp Bighorn provides comfortable cabins and good food for us so that we can relax and do what we came to do – knit!

As you should expect from a knitting retreat, we spent the majority of our time hanging out and knitting.  We stayed up late, we had lots of fun, and we can’t wait to do it again.  We hope you’ll join us next time!

Eating at the knitting retreat.
Good food!
Friends knitting
Good friends!
knitting retreat
And lots of knitting!
More knitting!

National Craft Month – CRE8TIME to Craft

March is National Craft Month.

The Craft and Hobby Association has teamed up with CRE8TIME.org this year to encourage people to make time for their crafts.

People get busy and it can be difficult to find time to do things you enjoy.  Work and family obligations often take precedence.  Making time to do something you enjoy is an important part of self-care.  It will help you recharge so you are more easily able to meet the demands of your schedule and obligations.

Here are our top suggestions for finding time for your craft:

Finding time to craft in a group.
Tuesday evening knitting group Christmas party.

 

1. Join a group.  Here at Alpaca Direct we have several groups that meet weekly.  There are Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon knitting groups as well as a monthly spinning group that meets on the first Friday of the month.  If you’re part of a group that meets regularly, and you make it a priority to attend, you’re guaranteed that you’ll have at least that amount of time on a regular basis to work on your craft.  You’ll also get the added pleasure of making new friends and getting to spend time socializing with people who have a common interest.

2. Craft while waiting for other things.  Bring along your current project to your next appointment and work on it in the waiting room.  Portable crafts like knitting, crochet, and spindle spinning are great in these situations.  Waiting for water to boil before you put pasta on?  Knit a couple of rows, or at least a few stitches.  If you keep your project with you, it’s easy to get a little bit done in these pockets of found time.  Little bits of time here and there add up, and you’ll eventually finish that project.

Finding time to craft
Knitting while I wait.

 

3.  Work on a project in front of the TV.  I think this is probably when most of us get the most work done on our current works in progress.   It’s fairly common to sit and watch TV for a while in the evenings.  This is prime time for working on your fiber crafts.  I know I do the majority of my knitting while watching TV.

4.  Put it in your calendar.  I know that may seem silly at first.  But, taking care of yourself is important.  Pursuing hobbies that you find enjoyable is part of taking care of yourself.  People schedule other hobbies – sports, fishing, camping – why not craft hobbies?  When I was in college two of my friends and I had a standing Monday knitting date in my apartment.  They’d come over and we’d watch our favorite TV show and knit or crochet, depending on our preference and current project.  It just happened one time and we enjoyed ourselves so much it turned into a weekly thing.  We all made sure not to schedule things over it if we could help it.

I always have a project that I can stuff in my bag and take with me.  I usually have several projects on the needles at one time, so I just pick whatever seems appropriate for the situation.  I work on larger projects (like my top down raglan cardigan that I’m currently knitting) at home or at knitting group.  I have a sock to stick in my bag and take with me if I get stuck waiting somewhere.

With a new baby it’s a bit trickier to find time to knit.  But I try to do at least a little every day, because it’s something I enjoy and it recharges me.

How do you find time to work on your crafts?  Let me know in the comments.

What to Knit for a New Baby

If you’ve come to the Tuesday night Open Knitting group lately, you know that I’ve been pregnant.  My baby made his appearance in the world on January 30, 2015.

James Michael
James Michael

 

This means that any time someone in the knitting group decides to knit for a baby, they ask my opinion first.

As the (apparent) resident expert in what to knit for a new baby, I thought I’d offer up my biggest suggestion and top five picks for baby knits.

Take Washing Into Consideration

Do you want to make something out of a lovely, soft merino silk blend?  Or some other luxury fiber for someone’s little tyke?

Ask yourself this: will Mom or Dad be willing to hand wash whatever you’re making?

I know that there are some yummy soft yarns out there and they seem perfect for something snuggly for a wee one.  But, remember that new parents, especially first time parents, are frazzled and probably don’t want to worry about hand washing much of anything. If it can’t be tossed in the wash with everything else, one of two things will happen. It will never get worn or it will get destroyed in the first washing.

Have a lovely soft hank of Misti Alpaca Tonos? Keep it for yourself.

You have to remember that babies cover everything in goo eventually. Between explosive poop and spit up, nothing is safe. Even things you wouldn’t think are likely to get nasty, like hats and booties, aren’t safe. If you’ve never had a baby, or it’s been a long time, you may not realize or remember the amount of effluvia that a tiny baby can produce. Let me assure you, it is astounding.

Personally, I love dressing my babies in wool. I actually use wool diaper covers, so I do a certain amount of hand washing. However, I am a knitter and used to hand washing hand knits. That said, I still prefer superwash wool for sweaters, hats, blankets, booties, and things like that. I’m willing to lay things flat to dry more than I am to hand wash, especially larger items like blankets.

Some good superwash choices are Malabrigo Rios and Cascade 220 Superwash. Sock yarns are also good if you want a finer gauge option.

For even easier care, Berocco Vintage is a great choice. It’s an acrylic/wool blend and can go in the washer and the dryer.

While that cashmere or merino/silk blend is lovely and soft, I definitely recommend keeping it for a project for yourself. You’ll know how to take care of it and it’s far less likely to get spit up or pooped on.

What to Knit for Baby?

Now that we’ve discussed yarn choices, let’s talk a little about what kinds of things to knit. Here is a short list of my favorites to knit, give, and use.

1. Baby blanket

photo 2
Snuggling with the blanket Grandma made with Malabrigo Rios.

 

This one’s pretty obvious, and it might seem a little overdone.   It’s important to take into consideration whether you think the parents are likely to appreciate a hand knit baby blanket. But, if they will, then you really can’t go wrong with a blanket. No matter where you are, a baby will need a blanket of some variety. Infants can’t regulate their body temperature very well, so it’s important to help them stay warm. New parents are often gifted blankets, but they are pretty useful, so it’s hard to have too many. Plus, you can unleash your creativity a bit with a blanket. It’s a large blank canvas, so you can play with different stitch patterns and color combinations.

2. Sweater

My daughter wearing the cabled hoodie I made her when she was a baby.

If you’ve never made a sweater before, a baby sweater is a great place to start. The construction is nearly the same, though with less shaping in general, and baby sweaters are really quick knits. Here are some of my favorite patterns:

Puerperium Cardigan

Little Luxury Kimono Sweater

Maile Sweater

Thora’s Cardigan

I’m partial to cardigans, especially with newborns and little babies. They’re a lot easier to get on and off than pullovers. Sweaters are also great for putting on a baby or child in a car seat. They’re thin and warm and won’t interfere with the functioning of the car seat. (Bulky coats and snowsuits aren’t suitable for use in car seats. They compress in a crash and can the baby can be ejected from the car seat because of the extra space created by the compressed coat.)

3. Pants

This one is a less obvious choice than some of the others. But, let me tell you, a little baby in knitted pants is undeniably adorable. When made of regular wool, these can be lanolized and used as a diaper cover (which is what I do). But, they’re great even just as pants. They, like anything else, can be made from superwash wool, cotton, acrylic, or a blend. The pattern I use the most is Braided Longies, but there are lots of cute ones available. A couple others I’ve knitted are (cargo pants pattern from Knitty) and (that other one in my queue).

4. Hats and Booties

James's booties.
James’s Gansey Booties.

No matter what time of year a baby is born, hats and booties are useful. If you live in the northern part of the country, it gets cool in the evenings even in the summer, so lightweight knitted hats and booties help then. In the southern part of the country, everything is heavily air conditioned to approximate meat locker temperatures in the summer, so hats and booties are good for babies in that climate, too. The sheer number of hat and booties patterns is rather overwhelming. Hats are a pretty easy pick, though. Find a pattern you like, or a basic recipe and play with your own stitch patterns.

Booties are a bit trickier. There are lots of cute bootie patterns, but not all of them actually stay on the baby’s feet. I’m a big fan of the Gansey Booties pattern for it’s staying on ability. Other choices that look like they’d stay put are Saartje’s Bootees, Closeknit’s Striped Baby Boots, or Blue Steps Baby Booties.

5. Toys

IMG_0680

Newborns don’t really need toys. But, that newborn will eventually get bigger and be more interested in something to play with. Here are some of my favorite patterns:

Knubbelchen

Gnome Baby

Braided Ball

Terragon the Gentle Dragon

Bunny Nuggets

Hopefully this gives you some good ideas to knit for the babies in your life.  And remember, babies don’t have to be dressed in pastels.  Choose colors you know the parents will like.  The baby doesn’t have an opinion yet.

Valentines Day Gift Ideas

With Valentines Day just weeks away, I thought I would share some of my favorite Valentine themed scarf and cowl patterns.

 As any knitter knows, there’s a little love in every stitch.  What a great way to show your love and appreciation for the special person with a hand knit scarf or hat.vkint1

This pattern is fit for a beginning knitter. The pattern is a series of hearts that can be knit on the needles two at a time using any worsted weight yarn. I used Misti Alpaca tonos 50% alpaca, 50% merino blend color #51 Zinnia then attached using the kitchener stitch once each half reaches the desired length. The pattern is called “Heart” by Stephannie C. Roy and can be found on Knitty or Ravelry and is a free download.

 

 

The next pattern is called “Besotted” by Adrian Bizilia which is also a free pattern that can be found on Ravelry and is a charming series of x’s and o’s made with cables. Use this pattern to knit your way into your loved ones heart! If you enjoy cables then you will love knitting this pattern.

 vknit3vknit2

Modeled by our staff member, Courtney, this scarf is beautiful in red, but would also shine in pink, purple or whatever your Valentine’s favorite color is!

 

 

 

We’ve just returned from the annual TNNA yarn trade show and have a variety of new yarns as well as new colors in our favorite yarns arriving in the warehouse.

For spring and summer knits we’ve added CoBaSi from Hikoo, a fingering weight blend of cotton, bamboo and silk. This yarn has a beautiful stitch definition and feels lovely in the hand. Versatile, you’ll want to make summer shawls, socks and garments from it’s wide color range.

 

If winter is still clinging to your landscape, you may want to make a cozy scarf or sweater from Hikoo Simpli Natural, an alpaca/wool/silk blend that combines sheen with drape and warmth to become a luxurious knittable yarn. The fiber drinks in the dye for an amazing depth of color and the silk adds a marvelous subtle shine.

 

Check our site for new colors of Hikoo Kenzie, Zauberball and Zauberball Crazy.

 

One of our staff, Kjirstine, knit this hat for her football fan daughter on a recent car trip to Seattle:

vknit5

It’s the “Easy Ombre Slouch Hat”, free on Ravelry, knit from Hikoo Kenzie in colors #1025 and #1027, both colors we’ve added recently. It’s pretty clear who she is cheering for on Sunday!

 

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Knitters

New Years Resolutions for Knitters
Photo by Ondrejk on Wikimedia Commons

Happy New Year, everyone!

Welcome to 2015…let’s get going!

Many of us have spent the last few months creating Christmas gifts.  After the frenzy of holiday parties and gifts, it’s nice to spend a few moments to reflect on the past year and what we hope to accomplish in the new year.  For many, this takes the form of New Year’s Resolutions.

As knitters (or other fiber crafters) it can be fun to come up with some goals for our knitting in the new year.  Here are our top five picks for New Year’s Resolutions for Knitters for 2015.

1. Knit More For Yourself

After spending so much time knitting gifts for everyone else, it can feel like ages since you’ve knitted anything lovely for yourself.  What does your Ravelry queue look like?  I know mine is full of stuff I’d love to knit but just haven’t done yet.  While I do still have a few small projects for others going, I’m spending most of my knitting time working on a sweater for myself.  It’s been a long time since I’ve knitted myself a sweater, and while I still wear and like the others, it’s time for something new.  I’m working on Ink by Hanna Maciejewska.

2. Knit Down Your Stash

This can go along nicely with the previous resolution.  It might take a slightly different shape – choosing the pattern to go with the yarn, rather than the other way around.  But, you could easily kill two birds with one stone.  One of my favorite features on Ravelry is the pattern browsing function that allows you to narrow your results by yarn weight, yardage, and a wide variety of other attributes.  Just remember, though – sock yarn doesn’t count as stash!

 

Shopping at Alpaca Direct
Getting supplies at Alpaca Direct for 2015!

3. Advance Your Knitting Skills

Knitting is pretty basic, really.  There are only two stitches – knit and purl.  But these two simple stitches can be combined in seemingly endless ways.  What technique is on your hit list for this year – cables, intarsia, stranded color work, lace?  Or maybe you feel the need to brush up your finishing techniques – master the mattress stitch, learn to block, or weave in your ends so that no one can tell.  Whatever it is, Alpaca Direct offers a variety of classes to help you.  Don’t see what you need?  Send an email and ask for it!  We’ll also be adding more tutorials here on the blog about these topics.  Sign up so that you receive the new blog posts in your inbox!

4. Finish Your Pile of WIPs

This can happen to even the most conscientious among us.  You start a project and get frustrated or distracted and it sits in your knitting bag or basket for a while until it eventually gets shoved in the back of the closet.  Maybe you have a whole closet full a few of these yourself.  Decide whether to finish them, or just send them to the frog pond (y’know where you riiiip it, riiip it) and reuse the yarn for something you like better.

5. Learn a New Craft

Have you been knitting for a while and want to learn something new?  Now’s a great time to do it.  There is a whole world of fiber crafts open to you, many of which can go right along with your knitting addiction hobby – crochet, spinning, and dyeing to name a few.  Weaving is also a fun way to make textiles, and you can get started pretty simply with a Zoom Loom or a rigid heddle loom.  Not sure where to start?  We offer classes for beginning crochet and beginning spinning.  Not a knitter yet?  Well, we offer a class for that, too.

Spinning Fiber at Alpaca Direct
Spinning Fiber at Alpaca Direct

 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  Did any of these make your list?  Any other fiber related resolutions you have?  Let us know in the comments!

Learn to Crochet With This Free Tutorial

We have created a visual step by step guide to help you learn about the basics of crochet. Whether you’re new to stitching and would like to learn how to crochet or if you’re a knitter looking to diversify your skills today we’ll teach you how to get started crocheting!How to Crochet by Alpaca Direct

Make A Slip Knot

Before we begin we’ll need to start with a slip knot. Hold a loop of yarn in your right hand, with the yarns crossed. Pick up the strand that is still attached to the ball. This is underneath the cut end of the yarn and is called the tail. How to crochet by Alpaca DirectPinch the strand of yarn that’s still attached to your ball of yarn and pull through the loop on your right hand, holding the ends in your left hand. 
How to crochet by Alpaca DirectPlace this loop on your crochet hook, you’ve created a slip knot! Pull the ends of the yarn to tighten the knot on your crochet hook. Now we’re ready to crochet. 
How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Chain Stitch

Step 1: Bring the yarn over your crochet hook, making sure that the yarn is coming from behind the hook and towards you over the hook.

How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 2: Pull this loop through the stitch on your hook. You’ve chained one stitch! How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Continue to chain stitch until you have enough stitches for your pattern, or you’re happy with the width of your crochet piece.
How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

 

Single Crochet: First Row

Step 1: Skip the first stitch down from your hook, and insert your crochet hook into the second stitch from the hook, inserting through the center of the stitch. How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 2: Bring the yarn over the hook, making sure that the yarn is coming from behind the hook and towards you.

How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 3: Pull this loop through your chain stitch, you’ll now have two stitches on your crochet hook. How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 4: Bring the yarn over the crochet hook again, then pull the loop through both stitches on your hook. How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 5: You’ll be left with one stitch on your hook, you’ve just completed your first single crochet stitch! Insert your hook into the next stitch, and repeat from Step 2 until you’ve worked a row of single crochet into all of your chain stitches.

How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Single Crochet: Next Row

This is what your piece should look like after completing your first single crochet row.
How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 1: Turn your work, and chain 1 stitch by bringing the yarn over the hook, then pulling it through the stitch on your hook. This will give height to the edge of your work so that you’ll have straight edges and clean corners.
How to crochet by Alpaca Direct

Step 2: Insert your hook into the first stitch of the first single crochet row, going through the center so that you’ll have two strands over your hook. Single crochet as before, going back to Steps 2-5 of the Single Crochet First Row. How to crochet by Alpaca DirectAll consecutive rows are started like the this, and the single crochet is the same throughout. It’s important to remember that on the first row you skip the first chain stitch, and then on consecutive rows you chain 1 stitch at the beginning of each row.

To finish cut your yarn, and pull the stitch on your hook up until the cut end of the yarn comes out the other end of your work. How to crochet by Alpaca DirectDon’t forget… when learning a new skill it will take some practice. Soon you’ll be crocheting like a pro!  Have you tried crochet? We’d love to hear your thoughts on learning to crochet.

My sister in law, Elizabeth wearing her Sisters Cowl

Do you crochet? We do!

Knitting. It’s the new yoga. It’s hip. It’s trending. You can knit on your arm or fingers. Celebrities knit. We hear more about knitting today than any other craft.

What’s happened to crochet?

Plenty! Crochet is full of innovation, creativity, and beauty. I sometimes feel crochet is the craft people “admit” to doing.  I hear customers in our store say, “I don’t knit, I only crochet.”, almost as if crochet is something less than knitting.

But it’s not less, it’s just different.

I did a quick search on youtube- the word knitting returned 717,000 videos. The word crochet returned 1,670,00 videos. I believe that people like to crochet!

Crochet was the first needle craft I learned. I grew up surrounded by thread crochet pieces that my grandmothers and great-grandmothers had made and I was impressed. At age 17, I went to my local yarn store and took a beginning crochet class. That began a fiber adventure that has lead me to knitting, spinning, tatting, and now even working in a yarn shop.  I still enjoy crochet. It’s my personal favorite way to use a lace weight yarn.

If crochet has been overlooked by the major pattern and yarn companies, it has not been overlooked by independent designers. There are patterns all over the internet, both free and purchased that are beautiful and wearable.

I know that crochet has a bad wrap sheet- I remember the days of toilet tissue covers and Christmas candles crocheted to fit over aluminum cans. It was ugly.

But today you can find a huge variety of patterns and styles that are stunning. One of my favorite designers is Tara Murray. Her patterns are a delight.  I made these cuties out of Cascade 220.

Galilee Booties, designed by Tara Murray, crochet by me!
Galilee Booties, designed by Tara Murray, crocheted by me!

 

The crocodile stitch is really hot right now and a fabulous design element. My favorite design that incorporates this stitch is Crocodile Stitch Booties, from Ravelry. I saw a pair of these given an outstanding award at our county fair in August.

Exquisite booties by Bonita Patterns.
Exquisite booties by Bonita Patterns.

 

Maria, one of our staff members, made this project  in Cascade Ultra Pima  early this summer:

Angel Wing Pinafore, designed by Maxine Gonser, crocheted by Maria
Angel Wing Pinafore, designed by Maxine Gonser, crocheted by Maria

She was busy the rest of the summer, filling  requests to make more!

 

Crocheted Mobius Cowl from Churchmouse Patterns, crocheted by Tina
Crocheted Mobius Cowl from Churchmouse Patterns, crocheted by Tina

Another staff member, Tina, made this beautiful cowl from Cascade Kid Seta and taught it as a class here in the store.

So, do you crochet?  We do!

We haven’t forgotten crochet here at Alpaca Direct. We carry a variety of crochet hooks, both beautiful and practical. You’ll find crochet patterns on our website, and a passion for crochet in our staff members! If Alpaca Direct is your local yarn store, look for a Begin to Crochet Class in January 2015 followed by other crochet classes in the late winter and spring.

Here’s my contribution to the crochet pattern community. I hope you enjoy it!

My sister in law, Elizabeth wearing her Sisters Cowl
My sister in law, Elizabeth, wearing her Sisters Cowl

My sister sent me photo of a scarf she admired, asking if I could make something similar. This pattern is the result. When my sister-in-law saw the finished scarf, she asked for one too! So it’s the “Sisters” scarf, because I’ve been blessed with a wonderful sister and sister-in -law!

Enjoy your Free Pattern!

Sisters Cowl, by Kjirstine Prickett

Materials:

2 skeins Berroco Ultra Alpaca or approximately 430 yds worsted weight yarn

US J Hook

3- 1-¼” buttons

Gauge is not terribly important to this project. You should adjust the hook and yarn to produce a fabric that you like. I wanted it slightly drapey, but still wanted to maintain a certain amount of structure.

Finished dimensions:

Approximately 8” x 60”

Abbreviations:

Ch- chain

Dc- double crochet– wrap yarn around hook once

Trc- triple crochet– wrap yarn around hook twice

 

Chain 203

Row 1: Dc in 4th chain from the hook, dc in each chain across. Ch 3, turn

Row 2: Trc in 2nd dc, trc in each dc across, dc in top of turning chain, ch 2, turn

Row 3: Dc in 2nd trc, dc in each trc across, dc in top of turning chain, ch 2, turn

Row 4-5: Dc in 2nd dc, dc in each dc across, dc in top of turning chain, chain 2 turn

Row 6: Dc in 2nd dc, dc in each dc across, dc in top of turning chain, chain 3 turn

Row 7: As row 2

Row 8: As row 3

Row 9-10: As rows 4-5

Row 11:As row 6

Row 12: As row 2

Row 13: Dc in 2nd trc, dc in each trc across, dc in top of turning chain. Finish off.

 

Block gently, stitch buttons on one end to correspond with Triple crochet rows, which are used as buttonholes.

Happy Crocheting!

 

 

AD Sock KAL Wrap-Up & Winner

We’ve had such a wonderful time hosting our first ever knit-a-long, the Alpaca Direct Sockalong! We’ve seen so many beautiful projects, and you can see them here on the Alpaca Direct Pinterest board or in the KAL thread in our Ravelry group.

win sock blockers from Alpaca DirectCongratulations to Gail M, who wrote “I’m new to sock knitting. In fact, I just finished my first pair! So I would love to win a pair!” We’ll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize. 

 

 

 

ADSockAlong Staff Sock Wrap Up

We’ve been knitting for nearly a month now and have made great progress! I think we’ve all learned something that motivates us to knit another pair of socks and try a new pattern or technique. There’s always something to learn!

Kelley, Owner of Alpaca Direct
Kelley, Owner of Alpaca Direct
Socks completed with a picot bind off.
Socks completed with a picot bind off.

 

Kelley finished her socks and has worn them already!

Courtney, Order Fulfillment & Store
Courtney, Order Fulfillment & Store
Courtney finished her socks!!!!
Courtney finished her socks!!!!

 

Courtney finished her socks and is ready to start a new pair.

Tina, Store Manager
Tina, Store Manager
Tina has made it to the leg!
Tina has made it to the leg!

Tina checks in this week:

“Finally knitting the leg(s)! I’m so pleased with the fit of the sock and especially the heel. However, note to self, on my next sock KAL, don’t decide on a 10-row lace repeat and expect to get them done in a month……LOL. My new mantra……KISS……keep it super simple! Or knit for someone with very tiny feet.”

Melissa, Social Media
Melissa, Social Media
Progress on sock #2
Progress on sock #2

 

Melissa says:

 I’m almost to the second heel where I get another shot at practicing short rows!  I can’t wait to have two finished socks!”

Kjirstine, Customer Service Manager
Kjirstine, Customer Service Manager
Second sock is coming along!
Second sock is coming along!

 

Kjirstine reports:

“This pattern came out great. This is the right sock, with the cable on the right side of the foot. The first sock had the cable on the left. I usually knit socks top-down with a heel flap, which is reinforced with slipped stitches. I’m wondering if the short row heel is as durable?”

Hope you are having good success with your socks, we’d love to see your progress on our Ravelry thread or on our Facebook page.