Knitting Pattern – Tidal Beanie

Erin Gates of Lizzy Knits reached out to me and wondered if we might do some collaborating … so we did!  She sent me some of her wonderful knitting patterns, and I sent her some of our alpaca yarn.  We both agreed to promote each other and Erin has quite a following, so that is super exciting, and I am happy to team up with another small business owner!  The first pattern I knit was Erin’s Tidal Beanie.  I used our bulky weight Snuggle Yarn in the color Tan Heather, one skein will do it.  I am very new to knitting cables and must say I’m a little less awkward than I was at first.  I love the dimension and texture that cables add to a project.  Of course, an Alpaca Pom Pom was the finishing touch!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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.)

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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.

Susie Rogers Reading Mitts

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 baby 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 to Knit
                                                                                                                                                 Cast-On & Bind-Off Knitting Workshop  How to Read Your Knit Stitches & Master the Pattern

Alpaca Meadows