Tag Archive | Bandana Cowl

Interlude Project

Sometimes when I have several big projects on my needles, I need to cleanse my palate with a smaller project that I can get done in a few days. Sunday I cast on a new Bandana Cowl with yarn from the stash. It got off to a rough start, though, and I was afraid I’d chosen poorly.

First, I was trying to adapt a pattern meant for bulky yarn to aran weight, so I was using notes from another knitter. The first needles were too big, though, so I frogged and started over with a smaller size. I liked it enough, until I got a few rows in and saw a dropped stitch way down at the beginning. I didn’t like it enough to keep going, so I frogged again and cast on with size 8 needles, and this time it worked. Except I did drop a stitch again and had to ladder it up about five rows.

img_4664It wasn’t my favorite yarn; it was a little nubby, and thick & thin in places. It’s Skacel Urban Silk, which is 80/20 silk and cotton. It’s definitely soft, and has the lovely drape of silk, but something about it just didn’t thrill me, so I’m glad I made this with someone else in mind. Now let’s just hope she likes it!

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It’s definitely smaller and more snug than the original was intended, but it fits me well and should be perfect for the recipient. And it got two skeins of yarn out of my stash!

Review: Andean Sun Alpaca

Does anybody else love alpaca? I’m guessing a few of you do. It’s one of my favorite yarns to use in winter, so when I was offered the chance to review some bulky alpaca from Andean Sun Yarns, I jumped at the chance. It’s available in packs of three in six colors, and I chose medium gray so it would go with almost everything.

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Honestly, I’d never heard of Andean Sun Yarns, so I had no idea what to expect. But guys. OMG. I’m a convert. If you love super soft alpaca that feels like a warm furry marshmallow (think squishy, not sticky!), then this is your yarn. In the past, I’ve used and loved Plymouth Yarns Grande and Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky. This yarn feels even better. I’m not sure why exactly, but I think the Andean Sun alpaca felt a little denser, a little more substantial, and just a tiny bit fuzzier. Can you see a hint of that marvelous halo??

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The yarn arrived on a Saturday and I cast on for the Bandana Cowl that same day. I was done by that night, partly because I was lucky enough to have a whole lazy knitting day, but also because I didn’t want to put the yarn down. Each skein is about 50 grams/54 yards each, and I used about two and a half skeins for the cowl. The yarn slid easily from the little skein, there were no knots, and it tinked nicely when I inevitably messed up.

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It felt so good in my hands. Plus, it washed and blocked wonderfully, still super soft and with a lovely relaxed drape. My only caveat is that I want it in more than six colors! And I have to say, I’ve wanted to make the Bandana cowl for SO long, and always put it off because I didn’t want to mess with short rows. Remember, I don’t like short rows. Except they were easy and quick in this pattern with the bulky yarn, and I didn’t mind them at all, and now I adore this cowl!

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Andean Sun Yarns is a small, independent family business with roots in Peru and the US that’s been around since 2001. As near as I can tell, they don’t stock in yarn stores, which is too bad because if you felt it, you’d probably buy it! But you can get it from their website (and get 25% off for subscribing to their newsletter) or from their Amazon shop (with free shipping).

Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Andean Sun Yarns who sent me the three-skein bulky alpaca kit (retail: $31.98) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.