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A Tale of Two Yarns: Fiber Content Matters

A Tale of Two Yarns – 2KCBWDAY1
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

One of the toughest parts about being a new knitter, for me anyway, was trying to figure out all the different kinds of fiber. To me, they all came off some kind of sheep, so what difference did it make? It took a long time, but I finally figured it out, and have come to realize that there’s a time and place for everything… mostly.

It was really hard for me to narrow this down to two specific yarns, but I managed to pick a sample for each of the two fibers I want to discuss: merino and alpaca. I am totally biased though, so please note that your mileage with either of these fibers may vary.

A Tale of Two Yarns: Fiber Content Matters

I absolutely ADORE merino. If I could only knit with one fiber for the rest of forever, this would absolutely be it.

I just find it to be so versatile! It’s warm and cozy, but if you knit lace with it, it’s not too hot. It keeps the moisture away from my skin when it’s raining. It comes in superwash for when you really don’t want to have to hand-wash whatever you plan on making in it! And it’s just so very soft and smooshy.

I particularly love Malabrigo because their colors are all phenomenal. The deep saturation gets me every time. They really keep the feel of the fiber in their yarns, too. Some merino yarns lose a bit of their softness and overall smoosh-factor, but Malabrigo gets it right in every weight from lace to chunky. You really can’t go wrong! Look at me, gushing like the fan girl that I am… moving along.

A Tale of Two Yarns: Fiber Content Matters

On the other end of the coin is alpaca. Again, let me remind you that this is just what I’ve found.. I hope all the people that love alpaca will not come to throw things at me! I know plenty of people that love the stuff, but it just doesn’t do the trick for me. I could happily sit and stare at the animal all day, but I find alpaca yarn to be very itchy.

It also fuzzes way too much and too easily for me. I haven’t even finished knitting the alpaca scarf I was making, and I looked like some strangely covered animal took a nap on my chest. If I ever met a dog this color, I might be kind of terrified, actually.

At any rate, the yarn is all the stuff I don’t like about mohair, without the ridiculous softness that mohair has. I am rather sad, but it seems like alpaca is not for me.

So that’s how I feel about these fibers. What are your thoughts? Do you prefer a different fiber over these two?




  • Annette

    I find that alpaca is too loose for me to use well, since I already have a tendency to knit and crochet too tightly and split my yarns. I don’t mind the fuzz, for some things, but it is so…darn….hot!

    But on the other hand, i do enjoy merino. Very sexy yarn. It seems more versatile for me. I have used both, and the alpaca was gorgeous… not something I subscribe to, personally. I am tempted strongly to felt something out of it though, which I am terrified to do to my merino, so perhaps there is a win here?

  • Katiemckinna

    *pummeling you with virtual barrel of alpaca* Hi there, I caught your post from Ravelry and thought I’d check it out. I too love merino. I mean, what’s not to love? But I also love alpaca, particularly Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky. The shedding is just part of the charm for me. What really gets me about alpaca is the smell. Really. I love it. I guess we all just have our preferences. It’s interesting though, isn’t it? Thanks for your nice post today.


  • LauraM

    MMMmmmm……Malabrigo! Yummy!

  • heather

    i’m with you on the alpaca unfortunately. i found out after i made a throw blanket with 12 skeins of chunky alpaca. the blanket looks amazing. it feels very soft. but i can’t see or do anything around it! the fuzz goes everywhere and gets in my eyes:(

  • Molly

    My first sweater is alpaca, I can only wear it if it is 20 degrees or below outside. It is really freaking warm, and a slight itch.

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