Handmade Knit Alpaca Ornaments

We are now selling these adorable knit alpaca ornaments, handmade by a not-for-profit social enterprise called Global Goods Partners.  GGP is is committed to providing sustainable jobs for women, and as stated on their website, they have tapped into the rich well of skill and artistry that is passed from one generation of women to the next.

Hand Knit Alpaca Ornaments

Since GGP first launched in 2005, they have partnered with over 60 artisan groups in more than 20 countries throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas, helping to design and bring to market the fair trade, handcrafted products they produce.  Each artisan earns reliable, fair living wages, and gains experience that can add benefit to all aspects of her life.

 

 

Alivicha Peru provides artisan jobs to women in Peru’s rural areas while providing the Alivicha community of hand-knitters access to training in reproductive, political, and economic rights. The organization gives Peruvian women an opportunity to leave the domestic sphere and “build a relationship with the world,” so that they can realize their full  potential and exercise their rights as women.
Artisan Voices

“Before, artisan crafts were not valued as income-generating work. Today, for me, it is a job which permits me to send my four daughters to school and pay the home expenses; now I am very happy because I am not a cattle herder working for others, I am a woman artisan in charge of quality control and teaching the members to ensure production quality. ”
— Señora Isabel

 

Give your friends and family a gift that has the power to lift women out of poverty and bring lasting positive change to artisans and their families around the world, and they’re cute too!  Click the images to purchase.

Find out more about the work of Global Goods Partners in the video below:

 

Free Knitting Pattern – Darn Knit Cable Hat

This knit hat is called Darn Knit Cable Hat and the design is by Aimee Pelletier.  Aimee’s grandmother taught her to knit when she was a young girl.  She put her knitting away for many years, and then according to Aimee, her Nan conned her into it again!  She now owns her own yarn shop in Stillwater, Minnesota called Darn Knit Anyway.  To see more of Aimee’s projects on Ravelry, click here.

I used our bulky Snuggle yarn, a blend of alpaca, wool, and acrylic.  One skein is all it took.  The color of the hat above is called Shire and the color of the hat below is called Dockside.

You’ll need US11 – 16” Circular Knitting Needles, US11 Double Point Needles, Stitch Markers, and a Yarn Needle.  Speaking of Stitch Markers, you just must check out these Alpaca Stitch Markers!

Alpaca Andie Stitch Markers | KnitPicks.com
Alpaca Andie Stitch Markers | KnitPicks.com

This was the first time I had knit cables, and it’s not all that hard.  I sure do like the finished project!

If you need some help with cables, check out How to Cable for Beginners.

An Alpaca Pom Pom tops off this hat!  Why make a pom pom out of yarn or faux fur when you can have alpaca!

Baby Alpaca Teddy Bears

To ease your mind, alpacas are not killed for their fur. These Alpaca Pom Poms, our Alpaca Fuzz Ball Key Chains, our Alpaca Teddy Bears and Alpacas are made from the fur of alpacas which have unfortunately died through natural causes. Rather than waste such luxurious fiber, alpaca pelts are purchased from indigenous farmers who receive a monetary return on the loss of income caused by the death of one of the herd.

If you choose to remove the pom pom for whatever reason, you can just untie the bow that’s been tied around the button on the inside of the hat. Easy peasy!

If you missed the link for the Dark Knit Cable Hat Pattern at the top of this page, here it is again.

Interested in purchasing this hat already made, in the color of your choice?  Click here.

 

For more patterns made with Snuggle Yarn, click here.

 I do a small amount of affiliate marketing, and there are several links in this post that lead to products that I don’t sell, bu I do receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase those items.  I thank you, especially during these difficult times!

Knitting Kit – Forget Not Mitt Kit

Looking for a Spring knitting project?  While cooler seasons are known to be the height of knitting and crocheting, many of us know that knitting and crochet season never really ends.  With warmer temperatures, we might opt not to be covered in super bulky alpaca wool yarn, but rather enjoy lighter yarns and smaller projects.  Today I wanted to share the Forget Not Mitt Knitting Kit with you, along with all the pretty color combinations available.  The pictures below are from Ravelry, and all the fingerless mitts were made using this kit.

These quick-to-knit mitts are a basic argyle pattern that pops with the use of a semi-solid and a marbled multi-color yarn. The yarn in these kits was dyed especially for these fingerless mitts. With an easy to follow color chart, interesting thumb gusset and straight-forward 1×1 striping on the palm, these mitts will keep your attention without driving you crazy.  Not to worry, it’s easier than it may look!

The yarn in the kits is our Paca Peds, a fingering weight sock yarn, obviously not just for socks!  You’ll need #2 knitting needles, if you don’t already have them.  It is a blend of 20% superfine Alpaca, 65% superwash Wool, and 15% Nylon for durability.  Just check out these yarn color names and pictures of yarn swatch options available in this kit:

Bollywood (Teal)

Bora Bora (Aqua)

Dancing Queen (Acid Green)

Figgy Pudding (Brown)

Hidden Glen (Olive)

Millefori (Yellow)

Night Shade (Purple)

Persist (Pink)

Poison Apple (Red)

Rhinebeck (Rust)

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Free Knitting and Crochet Pattern – Stormy Sky Shawl

Surely it will be warm weather soon, and thoughts will turn to lighter weight yarn for knitting and crochet projects.  I found this pretty shawl on Ravelry, knit by Lynn Fukutani, using Mariquita Yarn, a Fingering weight yarn, which is a luxurious blend of 50% Baby Alpaca and 50% Tencel.

Mariquita yarn has a subtle shine and a beautiful drape, and is the perfect choice for this lightweight, asymmetrical shawl.

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Alpaca and Llama Face Masks

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an updated set of guidelines on wearing face coverings in public, including homemade face masks as the US struggles to fill a coronavirus-driven demand for more personal protective equipment.  If you love alpacas and llamas, like I do, you might enjoy checking out the alpaca and llama collection of face masks available.  You can click on either the picture, or the link below the picture, to purchase!

Many other designs available too!

Flock Of Alpacas Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Flock Of Alpacas Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

(A group of alpacas is actually referred to as a herd.)

Bright Colorful Alpaca Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Bright Colorful Alpaca Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

Alpaca Maskcom
Alpaca Maskcom

There’s no strong evidence that homemade masks and face coverings can keep you from acquiring the coronavirus, but there are some benefits.

Alpaca Cacti Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Alpaca Cacti Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

Wearing a homemade face mask may block large particles ejected from sneezing and coughing.  They might help protect others from your sneezes and coughs if you acquired the virus but are otherwise asymptomatic and in public.  Face masks could encourage more mindful behavior, including avoiding touching one’s mouth, nose and eyes.  Last but not least, wearing a handmade face mask can give peace of mind.

Cute Alpacas Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Cute Alpacas Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

Homemade face masks should be used in combination with appropriate social distancing.  Thorough hand-washing is still the most advocated medical advice for healthy people to avoid acquiring the virus.

Doodle Alpaca Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Doodle Alpaca Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

Trendy Dressed Llama Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Trendy Dressed Llama Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

Colorful Llamas Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Colorful Llamas Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

Pattern Of Alpacas, Cute Llamas With Hats, Flowers Cloth Face Maskcom
Pattern Of Alpacas, Cute Llamas With Hats, Flowers Cloth Face Maskcom

Cute Llamas With Scarfs, Alpacas, Cactus, Stars Cloth Face Maskcom
Cute Llamas With Scarfs, Alpacas, Cactus, Stars Cloth Face Maskcom

Cute Llamas On Teal Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom
Cute Llamas On Teal Pattern Cloth Face Maskcom

For more Alpaca and Llama Face Mask designs, click here.

Homemade face masks are not medical-grade and are not in any way a substitute for N95 or surgical masks, but they do serve a purpose.

How to Make a Face Mask at Home

How to Make a Face Mask at Home

To start a DIY face mask, you’ll want these supplies on hand:

Cotton fabric

Elastic

A sewing kit or sewing machine

A nonporous yet breathable material to go between the fabric (this may be detailed in a pattern)

Some designs call for filter material, which is added in an effort to block smaller particles.

According to Etsy, “Tens of thousands of sellers have already augmented their product offerings to include fabric face masks, demand will very likely outpace our sellers’ existing supply.  That’s why we are continuing to let sellers know that those with the skill and materials may want to consider creating and selling face masks on Etsy.”

If you’re looking to donate homemade face masks, there are multiple options, including Joann Fabrics and hospitals and organizations on this list.

 

The video above shows How to Make a No-Sew Face Mask.  For a video on How to Crochet a Face Mask, click here and a video on How to Knit a Face Mask, click here.

Stay safe!

I do a small amount of affiliate marketing so if you purchase one of the items in this pos, I do receive a small percentage of the sale, and I thank you, especially during these difficult times!

Free Knitting Pattern – Simple Autumn Mittens

Usually, I crochet, but I saw this knitting pattern for Simple Autumn Mittens by Halldora J on Ravelry and thought I just must share it. I love the feminine, lacy, pattern … don’t they just look soft and wonderful?

 

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Crochet and Knitting Patterns for Alpacas and Llamas

We’ve been raising alpacas for quite a few years, and now suddenly they’ve become popular! They seem to be everywhere, and on everything. There are some darling knitting and crochet patterns for alpacas and llamas, as well as purses, backpacks, finger puppets, pillows, hats and mittens, shaped like or adorned with these magical creatures!

Crochet and Knitting Patterns for Alpacas and Llamas

Some still mistake alpacas for llamas, and vice versa. The size difference between alpacas and llamas is obvious, but the other distinct difference is their ears. Alpacas have smaller, spear shaped ears and llamas have larger, banana shaped ears. Find out more by reading 6 Differences Between Llamas and Alpacas by Modern Farmer.

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Free Knitting Pattern – Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts

I ran across a knitting pattern this morning for Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts, which seems appropriate to post as I look outside after yet another snowfall! Seems like it’s been an awfully long winter in Ohio, but I’m very happy to see the sunshine peek in and out.

Free mitten pattern

These mitts are a quick and easy knit made from our Classic Alpaca Yarn by The Alpaca Yarn Company in the color, White House. Susie writes, “This may very well be the softest, squishiest yarn I have ever laid my hands on.”

Classic Alpaca Yarn

This yarn is 100% Alpaca, so it is also super warm, perfect for weather in Ohio. Fingerless gloves made from alpaca are also very useful in cold offices throughout the year!

This pattern is FREE, and written for three different sizes, also in four different languages! It calls for size US 5 – 3.75 knitting needles, and 200-210 yards of DK weight yarn. Simple and pretty!

Learning to Knit – Getting Started

You have your yarn and your needles, a comfortable chair, you’re relaxed, and you’re ready to get started knitting.  There are different ways to hold your knitting needles.  Some people hold their hands over the knitting needles like a table knife and some hold them like pencils.  See How to Hold Your Knitting Needles and Yarn for pictures of the different ways.  Try both and see what is most comfortable.  There is no right or wrong way.

Casting On

Casting on is the first step in knitting and is the process of getting stitches on the needle.  There are a number of different Cast On Methods. The Loop Cast On is an easy one for beginners.  It is quick and easy, but can be difficult to keep an even tension when knitting, so exploring other methods may be in order down the road. The Knitted Cast On is an easy method and you will learn the knit stitch at the same time.  It is fairly stretchy and a good choice for many sorts of projects.  KnitPicks has a good video and tutorial on this method.

Knit Stitch

There is more than one way to learn the Knit Stitch. The two most common ways to knit are the English knitting method and the Continental knitting method.  Try both and see what you like best.  You may feel awkward at first.  Like everything else, learning to knit takes some practice and patience, and so does learning to hold your knitting needles and yarn.  Just start knitting – you’ll get it.

Knitting is a 4-step process:

Insert the needle

Wrap the yarn

Pull through the loop

Pull off the new stitch

You will knit all the stitches on your needle and when you have finished, you will have knit your first row.  If counting rows, your first row including the cast-on counts as row one.

When you have finished the row, you will turn your work. Exchange the needle full of stitches in your right hand for the empty needle in your left hand, and start again.  Knitting every row creates fabric with a series of ridges, each ridge being created from two rows of knit stitches.  This is called the knit stitch or garter stitch.

Purl Stitch

The Purl Stitch is next, click below to watch the video or see the tutorial.

 

The process of alternating knit and purl rows creates the stockinette stitch. When you are knitting stockinette, the side that is smooth is considered to be the right side (abbreviated ‘RS’). The purl side with the bumps and ridges is considered to be the wrong side (abbreviated ‘WS’)

Sometimes projects will require multiple skeins of yarn, which will require joining a new skein of yarn.  If possible do this at the end of the row.

Casting Off

Your knitting project is finished, congratulations!   Now you need to get your knitting off the needles.  Some refer to this process as casting off, some call is binding off.  Click below to watch the Binding Off video, or see the tutorial.

Be sure to bind off loosely or the pattern will be “gathered” at that bound edge.  If you find the edge is too tight when binding off, use a larger needle to bind off.  Also, be sure to form the stitch on the straight part of the needle, not the tip.

Finishing

Next, you will want to weave in the ends and block your scarf.  Blocking is an integral part of finishing a knitted item.  It will even out your stitches and allow your fiber to bloom!  Be sure to read How to Block: Knitting Techniques on the Interweave website.

 

Other good knitting resources:

Learning to Knit – What You’ll Need

Top 10 Yarn Questions

How to Read a Knitting Pattern

Knitting Stitches You Need to Know

Find Your Style: Battle of English vs Continental Knitting

You might also want to check out 10 Easy Scarf Knitting Patterns for Beginners.

Happy knitting!

Here are some Online Knitting Classes you might enjoy:

Learn Essential Beginner Knitting Skills ins New Class | Craftsy

Learn to knit a scarf ins My First Scarf class | Craftsy Learn how to knit a hat ins My First Hat | Craftsy

Free Knitting Pattern – Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf

This Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf is a pattern I like to use when teaching people how to knit.  This pattern is from the Purl Soho website.  I have adapted the pattern to use with our bulky Snuggle Yarn from the Alpaca Yarn Company, and big needles, so fewer stitches are needed when casting on than what is written in the original pattern.

Hand-Knit Ribbed Snuggle Scarf

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Alpaca Meadows