All posts by Maria Welke

Picot Edge Slouch Hat With Malabrigo Rios Yarn


Hello fellow yarn lovers. Today I’m sharing with you my latest favorite hat with a free pattern Plymouth Yarn’s Royal Llama Silk Hat by Jan Wise.

It can also be found on Ravelry.

I knit my hat with one skein of Malabrigo Rios, approx. 200 yds, on size 6 & 8 16″ circulars, and size 8 dbl points at the end.

I made a couple of adjustments in the pattern.  First off, Round 5 she calls it the turning round. What she means is this is the round you will fold up to create that lovely picot edge. The pattern calls for you to keep a very long tail to use later to stitch the hem up to create this picot edge. I find it easier to follow the pattern to Round 9.   At Round 9, fold the beginning edge, picking up one edge stitch along with the stitch on your needle, knitting these two stitches together, repeating around the hat. No need for that long tail and more finish work at the end of your project!


You can see in the pictures above that the picot edge is not there! But just fold the cast on edge up to meet the 9th round and knit 1 st from the edge and 1 st from the needle tog and you’re set!




Voila!!!  A beautiful picot edge!

Secondly, the hat sizes are listed as 19.55 / 20 inches. This just creates all kinds of questions in my head. Suffice to say I have a 23″ head. The 20″ size is plenty big enough for my head and not in the least bit tight.

I hope you will give this hat a try. It is simple, very pretty, and adapted well to my Malabrigo Rios yarn :)

Happy Knitting!  Maria

Warm Up A Forgotten Soul


Did you know when a foster child turns 18 he or she no longer qualifies to live in the foster system?  Rather than have services available to help these young adults continue becoming a productive member of society,  these kids are often turned out into the streets to find their own way. The Red Scarf Project extends a hug to these kids in the form if red scarves knitted by you and me and then donated to their cause. We offer a large assortment of red yarns and knitting needles for your consideration, plus several super cute scarf patterns! Also, the Red Scarf Project organizers’ website offers patterns for you. You can access the website here for guidelines and information how you can help in many other ways.

The red scarves need to be submitted by Dec 15th so let’s whip one up for a young person in need of your hug.

Happy Knitting,
(The beautiful scarf pictured above is courtesy of

The Whoosh of my Herringbone Cowl

There is a funny little saying( which my pain addled brain can’t recall verbatim right now ) that refers to deadlines and the WHOOSH sound they make as they pass you by…it’s been quite that way around my house lately! I’m not even entirely sure that anyone even reads any of this anymore since I have been silent for so long! Well, enough of that. I’ m here now, right :)

I want to share my finished Herringbone Cowl with you. I first talked about it here. This is a case where looks can be deceiving. They are deceiving!

This gorgeous cowl is soft and squishy and oh so warm! The herringbone design gives it structure, preventing it from falling in on itself. The effect is a bit stiff looking but once you put it on-ohhhhhh heaven!

I used a sample of Malabrigo Rasta that Kelley is considering carrying in Alpaca Direct. I am wondering if any of you have ever used it or would like to try it too? Please let me know in the comments…

Happy Knitting :)


Knitting with Malabrigo Rasta

Does anyone ever really use these huge needles?


I’ve considered that question more than once myself. Being partial to slick metal knitting needles with fine tips that slip like buttered whispers around my yarn, these huge broom handle sticks have not garnered much respect from me. That is until now. Now I am yearning to use them more and more please.  Why? you ask. All because of a yarn which I have been trying to get my eager mitts on for 5 years now…Malabrigo Rasta. My friend Kelley handed me a sample skein of it 2 weeks ago and instructed me to make something with it. Oh the joy of creating with that super chunky yarn! My middle son was in the hospital the first week of my possession and working with my ball of Rasta kept me focused on something other than worry as I worked on knitting this soft, cushy collar cowl pattern

2013-08-20 13.11.49

The next week found me traveling to the beach to see my Ova Mae and help her lay in groceries and dry goods for the winter. In the evening while Ova regaled me with stories from her girlhood, I relaxed and knit away on this velvety soft cowl.

I finished and bound off however I am not happy with my bind off and need to re-do it. This week I will find just the right buttons and get it all wrapped up. (best laid plans and all that). We’ll see what Omar has to say :) I will post a picture of the finished cowl when it is ready.

Happy Knitting!!!


Feeling Sheepy (yawn)

I love Alpacas. And I love sheep. There’s just something cute and knitterly about them. So you can just imagine my delight in seeing this “I love my sheep hat” pattern by Hjerte GO’H design.

Isn’t that just adorable?!
We are teaching a class to knit this hat beginning August 6th from 6-8 pm at our store in Hayden. If you are new to color work, this will be a fun and informative class for you.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done any color work. This is my progress on the hat…

(I’m actually knitting an alternate version)
I’m knitting mine in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in a heathered red and off-white. I’m also using ChiaoGoo Knit Red Lace circular needles. I love love LOVE these needles! They are slick, sharp, and have a flexible cable with no memory. Even better, they cost about $8!
I had forgotten just how much I love doing color work! A little bit of red here…a touch of white there…and pretty soon a picture begins to appear. It’s magical!
If you can’t come in to our class but still want to make this crown of lambs, you can find the pattern here

The Company of Yarnies


Driving home from knitting group tonight, I marveled again at the camaraderie I have with this group of women.

Fiber artists are a special breed. Like the material we work with, we are largely a warm and fuzzy lot. We reach out to share our craft and embrace anyone who shows the least bit of interest. We spend hours, weeks, even months pondering the person(s) whom we are currently knitting for, investing ourselves in even the simplest gift. We gather every week and cluck about our lives. We share stories like sisters. We laugh until tears wet our cheeks. Is it any wonder this community is where I finally found “home”?!

If you are not part of a group or if you tried one and it just didn’t “fit”, I urge you to join us Tuesday from 6-8pm and Thursday from 1-3pm or to find another. Even start one of your own! The blessings you will reap will astound you.
Do you belong to a group like mine? I would love to hear your stories!
And now this happy girl is off to bed :)
Good night fellow yarnies ~ Maria

Floating on a Summer Day

Hayden, Idaho is a pretty little town just outside of Coeur d’Alene. And today was the Hayden Days Parade. It was also Alpaca Direct’s “Christmas in July” sale, with HUGE discounts on yarn and accessories, yummy food, adorable alpacas and lots and LOTS of laughter.

We worked fast and furious all day yesterday preparing the float for today. What on earth were we thinking? (just kidding!)

Today the Tuesday Night Knitters brought their kids/grandkids as did ADers and we all piled onto the float. After delivering our best queen-like waves to the citizens, we returned to the store to eat & shop.

It was a SUPER GREAT DAY! And just to top it all off, we had 10 awesome giveaway prizes from some extremely generous suppliers! Right before we closed up at 3p.m. Kelley drew out the names of our lucky winners. So. Much. Fun!

A quick shout-out to our kind and generous vendors who supplied products for the prizes:
Cascade Yarns
Hiya Hiya
Malabrigo Yarn
Misti Alpaca
Plymouth Yarn Company
Thank you for your donations! They were above and beyond our hopes :)

Now dear friends, I am pooped. Enjoy the remainder of your week-end and God Bless.








It’s Christmas In July At Alpaca Direct!


santa listTHIS JUST IN:

Some of Santa’s top elves will be visiting North Idaho and Alpaca Direct is hosting a huge  SALE EXTRAVAGANZA  so the elves can stock up on all their yarn and gift needs before heading back to the North Pole!

On Saturday, July 27th, our store will be cleaning out the warehouse to make room for our new and exciting Fall and Winter products, which are arriving every day. This means BIG SANTA SIZE savings to you.

Come by for a cold drink, a cookie and Christmas project ideas, books, patterns, and ready to go gifts. Enter to win in our drawings for gift cards, stuffed animals, yarn packages, and more. Sign up for our Fall classes! It’s enough to make you wish for SNOW (well not really, but we know it’s just around the corner).

Hurry in Saturday July 27th from 10 AM to 3 PM!

“You will always find something unique at Alpaca Direct” – We are your headquarters for luxury yarn and one of kind gifts!santa cat

Summertime Knitting & Crocheting


Up here in the Northwest knitting and crocheting seems to get put on the back burner  as soon as flowers begin to bloom and sunshine warms our faces. Our hooks and needles grow cold and lonely while we lounge on beaches or dig in gardens. Why do you suppose that is? It certainly isn’t due to a lack of reasons to continue our fiber love affair! There are multitudes of celebrations to keep our fingers flying :) Below, I’ve linked up some ideas and samples to each item. Just click on each item to get inspired!

Mothers and Fathers Day
Fourth of July

And the most charming and/or sexy fashions to create…
Shorts and summer tops

Summer friendly fibers are light and comfortable too…
Pima cottons
Cotton blends
Sock weight yarns
Novelty yarns
even wool and Alpaca!

There is also the fact that Christmas is just 6 short months away! You know, it’s never too early to start those personalized handmade gifts…Of course if that doesn’t get the creative wheels turning, it’s perfect weather to yarn bomb a bus!

What are you working on this summer? Do you have a favorite pattern or project just for warm weather? Or are you working away on your gift list for the holidays? It’s Show and Tell time :)