Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daily Review - Plymouth Baby Alpaca Ampato yarn

One serious advantage of sample knitting for Plymouth Yarns is getting to sample a variety of the yarns that they have on offer.  I'm working with a yarn right now that I have used before and enjoyed every second of working with it!  So, if you're looking for something new to try, I'm suggesting Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Ampato.

Weight: Aran
Yardage: 128 yards (117 meters)
Weight: 100 grams (3.53 ounces)
Gauge: 16 stitches = 4 inches
Fiber: 100% Alpaca

Alpaca yarn in general is considered to be stronger, softer and warmer than wool.  It's also hypo-allergenic for those that have wool allergies but want a more luxurious fiber to work with.  The structure of alpaca fiber also means that it's not prone to pilling, staining, or tearing - which is important if you just spent hours upon hours knitting up a garment but don't want to worry about whether it will hold up with wear.  

What I loved about this yarn is...well pretty much everything.  If I could only use one word to describe it, it would be buttery.  In fact, I kind of want to curl up with it.  Some yarns can be a little tough on the hands after a while, but this just keeps sliding through the fingers making it an effortless knit.  It is a plied yarn but I didn't find it to be splitty or difficult to work with because it maintains a nice smooth feel as you are using it.  I also found that it has terrific stitch definition so is perfect for cables, and also maintains a wonderful drape.  All in all, a wonderful yarn to have up against the skin.  The only downside to this particular yarn is that it's not cheap - approximately $14 for the 128 yard hank, which I think places it firmly in the "luxury" yarn category - but well worth it even if it's just a small project.  Highly recommended!

FYI - The tunic pictured here is one that I knit up used this yarn so you can get an idea of how it looks as a garment, and it looked even better in person.  You can buy the pattern for this tunic at Webs for $4.00.  I like it as is, although it could be easily converted into a shorter sweater if that's more your thing.


  1. Love alpaca! I can't wear it in scarf form though, it makes me itch like crazy. Interesting to hear that it's supposedly hypo-allergenic...

    Also, that model looks like she's totally trying to seduce me.

  2. Haha - she might be trying to seduce you. ;)

    Honestly, it's always pretty funny to me when I send off the knit sample and then have to wait and see how the photoshoot turns out.

  3. I made a scarf last winter with Baby Alpaca Ampato Plymouth Yarn and it is the softest scarf ever! It is amazing yarn and I just purchased 7 more skeins to make scarves for family for Christmas. I hate it when winter is over and I have to put it away!

  4. Itchy alpaca could be caused by a couple things. One could be the yarn is blended with wool which has lanolin, which is what many people are allergic to. Another could be that you had/have alpaca that has a lot of hair in the yarn, adding to the prickle factor. Hair should be removed during yarn processing. Don't give up on alpaca!