Monday, January 12, 2009

Yarn Review: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush Solids

Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush

Color: Plum #1805

Dye Lot: 254

Gauge: 3.5 sts/inch on US 9/5.5mm

Content: 80% Baby Alpaca

20% Acrylic

In the ball, Baby Alpaca Brush resembles a small Tribble. It is incredibly soft, and has good loft, but a lot of fuzz can be seen. It has an incredible plum color, and has slight variations in thickness, due to the loosely spun alpaca fiber.

I decided to start right in on a scarf for my sister in law, and chose a simple lace pattern. The Thistle Lace pattern was published in the Interweave Knits Summer 2006 issue, in their Thorn and Thistle Twinset by Joan Forgione. I apologize for the lack of links, but since the only archived photos are on Ravelry, I felt it wasn't fair for those not beta-testing the site. If you are on Ravelry, you can go here to access the pattern photos. Otherwise, go to Interweave Knits and about 3/4 down the page is a small blurb about the twinset.

This yarn is very fluffy and fuzzy, but seems to hold up very well to being frogged. I've already made several errors in the lace pattern that required me to rip back twice, and the yarn did not stick (unlike mohair) and even after reknitting, did not appear to be worse for wear.

Due to the loft of the fibers, this is a great yarn for cold weather items, although I wouldn't recommend it for high wear items, due to the nature of loosely spun yarn for pilling. A scarf or a pair of arm warmers seem to fit the bill, since this yarn is uber soft, and perfect for next-to-skin wear.

When washed in approximately 100 degree water, the swatch released a small amount of dye, but nothing that was surprising. I used Eucalan No Rinse wash and simply submerged the swatch (no felting here!) Now the swatch is sitting on white paper towels. After a quick press under some more paper towels, a little bit of dye was visible on the towels. I can only say that you should probably wash the articles before giving them to anyone, as the amount bled out would be an issue if one was to wear white.

Here you can see the amount of dye that was released.

There is a bit of dye that was released on the paper towels, so please be aware that bleeding may occur.

Once dry, there was no noticeable dye loss on the actual swatch. And rest assured that the swatch did fluff back up a bit after it dried. The lace pattern is a little more noticeable even though I did not pin it down. Also, the swatch did not grow noticeably after its bath. So rest assured that your measurements will be pretty accurate

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