A couple of months ago, Stitchcraft Marketing offered me the chance to review a new yarn from Manos del Uruguay and of course I said Absolutely! Alpaca Heather is a sport weight that’s 70% wool, 30% alpaca. It comes in 12 colors: 3 undyed colors, and 9 more overdyed with their kettle-dyed semi-solid colors. I chose Kohl, a dark gray, and Goji Berry, a dark dusty rose.
There are also six free patterns for this yarn, and I chose the Oleada Cowl. I wear cowls a lot, and chevrons and stripes are some of my favorite things to knit. The pattern was well-written and quick to knit. I memorized the pattern sequence easily and this was one of my favorite projects to knit while it was on my needles. I’d love to make it again in other colors! It sits up enough that I can burrow my chin into it, which just makes me feel extra cozy.
I love the rich colors. I love the stitch definition. It’s a dense, supple yarn. I loved how it slid across my needles, catching just enough to not be slippery. It blocked beautifully, with no bleeding of either color. I wore it around the house for a while, and it’s warm for sure. I like the drape — it has enough structure that it actually stands up enough to keep my whole neck and chin warm. I enjoyed knitting with it, but it’s the tiniest bit itchy to wear. However, I know the skin on my neck and face is sensitive, so your mileage may vary. Alpaca, in my experience at least, makes for a slightly hairier yarn than merino, giving it a fuzzy look and feel. I kept thinking I had single dog hairs trapped in the cowl, but I’m pretty sure it was (usually) the yarn. I think I’m just learning that I prefer smoother yarns, like Alma or Alegria.
I could see this being a great, warm yarn for outerwear like hats and mittens, or beautiful cabled sweaters. I might not wear it on my neck, but I’d test-drive some thick boot socks. And I love Manos for the good work they do: they’re a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, the yarns are produced by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and every skein helps a woman in Uruguay support her family. I’ll continue to happily buy their yarns!
Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me two skeins of Alpaca Heather (retail value: $43) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.