Free Crochet Pattern – Crescent Shawl

I love, love, love the new yarn called Mariquita from The Alpaca Yarn Company.  If you liked the Astral Yarn in all its beautiful colors, you will like this one too.  It has 50% tencel which is what gives it the lovely sheen like the Astral, and it is blended with 50% baby alpaca!  This Crescent Shawl, pattern by Julie Aakjaer, was perfect for the Mariquita, our new fingering weight yarn.  I used a smaller size hook than what the pattern calls for, which created a very lacy look that I think is very pretty with this yarn.

Crescent Shawl

 

HOOK

I used a 3.5 mm (E)

MATERIALS

One Skein Mariquita Yarn, the color I used is called Winter Wheat

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

I crocheted 50 rows, and ended up with a shawl that measures roughly 52 inches wide / 132.1 cm long and is 19 inches/ 48.3 cm long at the widest point.  Lovely use of the Mariquita yarn!

NOTES

The size of the shawl depends on the number of rows you crochet. Suggestions are given on the pattern for sizes from young child to adult size large, with approximate yarn requirements and recommended hook size given for each.

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CH – chain
SC- single crochet
HDC  – half double crochet
DC – double crochet
PIC – picots
TOG- together
SP – space

DIRECTIONS

Click Spring Crescent Shawl Crochet Pattern!

 

Crescent Shawl

 

 

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

I love hats with flowers, maybe not on me, but a flower just sets off a hat, makes it so much more stylish!  I love flowers, and it is Spring, so thought I would share my Flowers, Flowers, Flowers Pinterest Board.  On it you will find crocheted, knitted, fiber, and felted flowers, some with instructions and some just for inspiration!  Be sure to check out our Classic Alpaca Yarn for many, many pretty colors of 100% alpaca yarn for flower making, and my favorite patterns for Knitting and Crocheting Flowers!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Flowers, Flowers, Flowers on Pinterest.

There are also many FREE flower patterns for knit and crochet, or perhaps you can create your own!  Some of the flowers shown are knit, then felted by throwing them in the washing machine and dryer.  Some have been cut out of felt, others needle felted.  Our Bloomin’ Brites Needle Felted Flowers Kit uses a combination of both cutting flowers from felt and needle felting fiber onto them. Our Felted Bouquet Kit uses another felting technique called wet felting. More on these subjects in another post!

Happy Spring!

 

Felted Rabbits and Bunnies

In preparation to teach another Bunny Felting Class, I thought I would gather pictures of some of my favorite bunnies.  Pinterest was a great place to do that!  Felted rabbits really do come in all different shapes and sizes, some that are very simple designs that would be great for a beginning felter.  Those that have some experience with felting might want to tackle a bunny with more detail, perhaps even with bunny clothes and accessories!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Felted Rabbits on Pinterest.

When it comes to needle felting, there is more than one way to felt a bunny. The following are some tutorials to help you to decide what your preference might be.

Mama Bunny and Three Bunnies Felting Tutorial
DIY Cute Wool Rabbit
Needle Felting a Bunny: A Photo Tutorial
How to Make a Cute Needle Felted Bunny for Easter

Though I don’t have a Bunny Felting Kit available yet, the House Mouse Kit or Needle Felt an Animal Friend Kit both come with instructional DVD’s to help you learn three dimensional felting.

House Mouse Felting Kit

House Mouse Kit

Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit

Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit

If you don’t live too far away, and would like to learn how to needle felt a bunny in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows, click Bunny Felting Class.  Organize a group of friends to come do a class with you, or join a class already scheduled!

 

Free Crochet Pattern – Two Tone Mitts

I love these fun two-tone gloves, each glove with colors opposite from the other.  The pattern is by Pollyfoofoo and her website is pollyfoofoo.blogspot.com.  Her pattern calls for a bulky yarn, but I’ve chosen our Astral Yarn, a dk weight yarn, which comes in some gorgeous colors.  I think you could mix-n-match almost any two colors of this Alpaca/Merino/Tencel blend yarn and be pleased with the combination.

astral-fingerless-gloves2

Stitches Used:

SC- single crochet
SC BLO – single crochet back loop only
SC FLO – single crochet front loop only
HDC BLO – half double crochet back loop only
HDC 3rd LIF – half double crochet through 3rd Loop In Front
DC – double crochet
TR – treble crochet

Astral Two Tone Fingerless Gloves

HOOK

4.0 mm (G)

MATERIALS

Astral Yarn – 1 skein of two colors, approximately 191 total yards

Yarn Colors – 1st Picture:
Copper Penny, Aries

Yarn Colors – 2nd Picture:
Gold Rush, Virgo

Yarn Colors – 3rd Picture:
Aries, Pavo

NOTES

The arm is worked first, then you turn your work ¼ turn clockwise to work the hand. The thumb is created by skipping stitches and making a chain as a bridge over those stitches. These mitts are worked flat and seamed when finishing.

Do not skip the first stitch of the row when doing HDC. Treat it like a SC, to keep edges tidy and less holey. Even though you will be seaming the edges, it’s not a place you want holes.

Ch1 for turning chain on HDC.

The last stitch of every row is worked as you normally would (under both loops/legs). This keeps your edges tidy and less holey.

The stitches for the arm are SC but worked in BLO and FLO. The hand portion is mostly HDC, but worked in either the BLO or through the 3rd loop in the front (LIF).

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

 

Astral Two Tone Fingerless Gloves

DIRECTIONS

ARM:

Foundation Row: Chain 25 (or if you do chainless foundations, FSC 24, turn and go to Row 1).  Starting in the second chain of your hook, SC 24 stitches turn.

Row 1 (RS): – ch 1, SC BLO 23, regular SC in last st, turn (24)

Row 2 (WS): – ch 1, SC FLO 23, regular SC in last st, turn (24)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 25 rows. (End with a RS row)

For gloves bigger or smaller than pattern, you can make adjustments by making more or fewer rows, but please note that you will also have to make adjustments when time to do the hand portion by making more or fewer stitches.

HAND:

If you are going to make your hand with a different color, cut your arm yarn now, leaving an 18 inch tail for seaming later. If all one color, don’t cut.

With RS facing, turn work ¼ turn clockwise and attach new yarn color in the upper right hand stitch.  Work 27 HDC evenly into this edge, turn.

Row 1 (WS): – ch 1, not skipping the first stitch, work HDC into the 3rd LIF for 26 sts, and work the last HDC as normal, turn. (27)

Row 2 (RS):((thumbhole row)) ch 1, HDC BLO 8, DC 1, Tr 1, make a chain of 6, skip the 6 sts under them, Tr 1, DC 1, HDC BLO 8, HDC last st, turn. (27)

Row 3 (WS): – ch 1, not skipping the first stitch, work HDC into the 3rd LIF 11 sts, HDC into the back bump of each ch st (6), HDC into the 3rd LIF 9 sts,  and work the last HDC as normal, turn. (27)

Row 4 (RS): – ch 1, not skipping the first stitch, work HDC BLO 26 sts, and work the last HDC as normal, turn. (27)

Row 5 (WS): – work as Row 1

Row 6 (RS): – work as Row 4

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until hand portion reaches 2 inches tall and ending on a RS row. Cut yarn, leaving a tail to seam with. Give yourself 24 inches or so tail to seam with if you used 1 color for your mitts. If you did hand in different color you only need 10 inches or so to seam it, and then you’ll pick up your other color tail to seam the arm portion.

Before you do your seam, however, weave in your ends. It’s just easier that way.

SEAMING:

Then, fold WS together. Using clips/locking stitch markers to line up the stitches and hold your work together while you seam is a good idea, removing as you approach them. Use them as checkpoints to make sure you are seaming equally so your mitt seams won’t be lopsided. A mattress stitch works quite nicely.

Weave in your seaming yarn tail ends.

Astral Two Tone Mitts

To print pattern, click Two Tone Astral Mitts Crochet Pattern.

Alpacas in Winter

Alpaca fiber is oh, so, so warm and socks, hats, scarves, gloves, and sweaters made from alpaca, are the best!  Alpacas have their fiber to keep them warm, and honestly they mind the heat much more than the cold. However, there are times and conditions when our alpacas appreciate a little help keeping warm.

Alpacas in Winter

Our rule of thumb is that we close the alpacas in the barn, when we hit single digit temperatures.  Even alpacas appreciate being able to get out of cold, harsh winds and pelting rain or snow.  We line the inside walls of their shelter with bales of straw, stacked three or four high, to cut down on the drafts as well as have handy for layering on top of the manure.  Other than the cold and the snow, alpaca care is actually a little easier in the winter because we don’t clean up the manure in the barn.  Rather we spread straw on top of the manure.  Heat is generated from the lower layers of composting manure and straw.

Alpacas in Winter

Feed ahead of the weather.  In winter, we always have plenty of hay available and when it is cold, our alpacas easily eat twice as much.  They seem to know when a change in the weather is coming.

Alpacas in Winter

Older alpacas and little ones can have trouble staying warm.  There actually is Winter Wear which can help immensely especially if an alpaca is sick or compromised in some way.

Alpacas in Winter

Below are some tips written by Ben Fisco of Humminghill Suri Alpaca Farm on “Raising Alpacas in Harsh Winter Climates”.  Read the entire article here.

  1. Breed for spring and autumn births.
  2. Use layered, thick, dry bedding in sheds and barn.
  3. Bring alpacas inside in extreme cold and when they are wet dry them off before sending them back to the pasture.
  4. Use a flame and fan-free heating system when heat is used.
  5. Avoid drafts.
  6. Provide good drainage.
  7. Provide good ventilation and air circulation in all barns year round.
  8. Clear pastures of snow in areas large enough to provide exercise.
  9. For cria hypothermia, place cria in a plastic water-tight bag in warm water up to, but not including, the head.
  10. Use heated water buckets.
  11. Use cria coats and coats for adults when you see them shiver.  Use common sense.
  12. Feed large volumes of high quality hay in cold weather.

Alpacas in Winter

Several other helpful articles:

Can It Get Any Colder?
Suris in Winter – Dispelling a Myth
Tips On Raising Suris in Cold Weather

Free Crochet Pattern – Jessica Scarflette

This Jessica Scarflette crochet pattern is by Jessica Dassing of Chick-a-Pea Studio.  Any weight yarn will work using the appropriate hook, as there is no fit to this scarflette.

Jessica Scarflette Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

I used one of our Swizzle Yarns, a DK weight, and 100% alpaca.  The color is called Punk Rock Princess, now isn’t that a fun name?

Jessica Scarlette with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

HOOK

4.0 mm (G)

MATERIALS

276 Yards or 1.3 skeins of Swizzle Yarn, enough left for another small project

NOTE

Button holes are not necessary since there are openings created by this crochet stitch. When picking out buttons, test out how they fit with your project; button size will vary with gauge and yarn choice.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

This alpaca scarflette measures roughly 9 inches/ 23 cm wide and 39 inches/ 101 cm long.

Jessica Scarlette with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

DIRECTIONS

Chain 28 stitches.  These include the extra 3 chains at the start of Row 1.  These chains will allow your double crochet stitches to stand up straight.

Row 1: 5dc in 4th chain from hook, *skip 2 chains, single crochet into next chain, skip 2 chains, 5 double-crochet into next chain*.  Repeat between**s until 3 chains remain. End row 1 with 3 double crochets in last chain.  Turn work.

Row 2: Chain one,*5 double-crochets into single crochet from previous row, single crochet into middle stitch of shell from previous row*. Repeat between**s until last shell, 3 double-crochet into top of chain 3.  Turn work.

Rows 3-66:  Repeat rows 1 & 2 until desired length.  Weave in ends.  Sew on buttons along one side.

Optional Edging:  Continue around the outside border of the scarflette adding shell pattern over and over again, making twice as many double crochets to round the corner stitch.
.

Jessica Scarlette with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

To print pattern, click Jessica Scarflette Crochet Pattern.  Click here to see a number of ways this scarflette can be worn, and other yarns used for this project.

The New Encyclopedia of Crochet Techniques The New Encyclopedia of Crochet Techniques Crochet-opedia

Fiber Processing Flow Chart

MILL MOVIE

There are many steps involved in processing fiber as can be seen in the chart below.  For a virtual tour inside a fiber mill, click 84 Alpacas Fiber Mill.

Fiber Processing Flow Chart

 

FIBER PROCESSING

FIBER COOPERATIVES

ALPACA FIBER EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

COMMERCIAL USER

Needle Felting Ornament Kits and Videos

Needle felting has taken off in our area.  Even those who don’t think they have the skills required or aren’t creative, have been enjoying felting classes in The Fiber Studio here at the farm, and going home with projects they are pleased with.  There is no need to have to pay attention to a pattern, such as with knitting or crocheting, so felting is a fun craft to do with a group of friends or in the evening while watching TV.

Needle Felting Ornament Kits

Just in are some new felting kits!  Among them are a variety of felted ornament kits, with instructional videos to follow.  Keep scrolling to see the videos.  Click on the images below if you’d like to order the kit.

     

Happy felting!

Be sure to check out the pictures from some of our felting classes!

Free Knitting Pattern – Seed Stitch Knit Scarf

Seed stitch, also known as moss stitch, is a basic texture stitch. It is made up of alternating knit and purl stitches.

Seed Stitch Knit Scarf

The fabric is firm, does not curl, and looks the same on both sides. It is ideal for small knits, scarves, cowls, mittens, gloves, and knits up into super cute baby items!   This is a stitch you will want to learn!

Textured Snuggle Scarf

For this scarf, I used big needles and our bulky Snuggle Yarn.  It is a very simple pattern and the texture is so pretty!

IMG_6022 (480x640)

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

NEEDLES

Size 15 (10.00 mm)

MATERIALS

157 Yards of Snuggle Yarn

NOTE

An odd number of stitches is required for seed stitch.  The trick to the seed stitch is knowing when to knit and when to purl.  You will be knitting the purl stitches and purling the knit stitches.  Starting with an odd number of stitches you will always be starting and ending the row with a knit stitch.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 6” wide x 60” long

IMG_6028 (446x640)

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 19 sts loosely.  Work in seed stitch, as described below, for 60 inches or to desired length. Bind off stitches.  Weave in ends.

Seed Stitch
Every Row: K1; *P1, K1; repeat from * to end of row

IMG_6029 (480x640)

 This scarf is available for purchase in any of the pretty Snuggle Yarn colors!  Click here to purchase.  To print pattern, click Seed Stitch Knit Scarf Pattern.

IMG_6034 (426x640)

Be sure to check out the FREE Knitting Tutorials from Craftsy!

Knitting Stitches You Need to Know
Knitting Stitches You Need to Know

from: Craftsy

Free Crochet Pattern – Butterfly Shawl

This crocheted shawl starts at the neck and is crocheted back and forth, from the top down.

Butterfly Crochet Shawl

 I have used one of our Swizzle yarns, 100% alpaca, from The Alpaca Yarn Company.  The color is Totally Teal.

Swizzle Yarn - Knit Swatch

This is a knit swatch from this colorway, though lighting makes it look a little more green than it is.

IMG_3121 (465x640)

HOOK

4.0 mm (G)
5.0 mm (H)

MATERIALS

528 Yards or 2.5 skeins of Swizzle Yarn

NOTE

This piece is worked back and forth from the top down, starting at the neck. After each row, turn work.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

This alpaca shawl measures roughly 60 inches/ 152 cm across the top and 84 inches/ 213 cm around the bottom edge.

IMG_3122 (517x640)

DIRECTIONS

Begin using G hook.

Row 1: Ch 4, (dc, (ch2, 2dc)twice in 3rd ch from hook.

Row 2: Ch3, dc in sp between last two dc of prev row, (2dc, ch2, 2dc)in next two ch2 sps, 2dc in sp between last 2 dc of prev row.

Row 3: Ch3, dc in sp between last two dc on prev row, * sk next dc, 2dc in sp between sets of 2dc on prev row, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in ch2 sp* repeat * – * once more, sk next dc, 2dc in sp between sets of 2dc on prev row, sk next dc, 2dc in sp between last 2 dc of prev row.

Row 4: Ch3, dc in sp between last two dc on prev row, * sk next dc, 2dc in all sps between, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in ch2 sp* repeat once more, sk next dc, 2dc in all sps between, sk next dc, 2dc in sp between last 2 dc of prev row.

Row 5-20: repeat Row 4. There will be 20 sets of 2dc. Switch to H hook.

Switch to H hook.

Row 21-26: Repeat row 4

Row 27: Chain 8, sk 1 space, (sc in next sp, ch8) repeat, ending with sc in space between last 2 sts

Row 28: Ch3, 3dc, ch2, 4dc in ch 8 sp, (4dc, ch2, 4dc) in each ch8 sp

Row 29: Ch3, slst in ch2 sp, (ch8, sc in next ch2 sp) repeat around

Row 30-33: Repeat rows 28 and 29 two more times

Row 34: (Sc in sp between next dc)3x, 3dc in ch2sp, (sc in sp between next dc)3x, skip next space, repeat across row, pull tail through and weave in ends securely. This piece can be made longer by repeating either section.

Make sure to purchase enough yarn to complete your project

To print pattern, click Butterfly Shawl Crochet Pattern.

IMG_3125 (463x640)

The half-hexagon shape allows for many fun ways to wear it.  Check out a few of them here.  It drapes well and is quite versatile.

IMG_3126 (474x640)

ch chain (yo, pull through loop on hook)
sc single crochet (pull up a loop, yo, pull through two loops on hook)
dc double crochet (yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through two loops on hook] twice)
sp(s) space(s)
sl st slip stitch (pull a loop through stitch and also through loop on hook)
yo yarn over

IMG_3128 (463x640)

Acknowledgements

Garment design by Nancy Nagle for Nangellini Designs



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