Posted in Knitting

The journey continues at Alpaca Direct!

Alpaca Direct local yarn shop in Hayden, Idaho
Alpaca Direct in Hayden, Idaho

Hello, All!

I wanted to let you know that I’ve taken a part-time job with Alpaca Direct as social media manager. Yahoo!

If you’re not familiar with Alpaca Direct, it’s an online yarn shop that also has a store front in Hayden, Idaho, about 15 minutes north of Coeur d’Alene. The store is darling—full of yarn and gorgeous samples, and it’s a homey, friendly atmosphere. I’m really excited to work with all of the wonderful people there.

Alpaca Direct doesn’t just sell alpaca yarn; you can get just about anything you need there, including all kinds of yarn, needles, crochet hooks, shawl pins, and ready-made alpaca socks!

If you haven’t checked out Alpaca Direct, please do. (I’ll still be writing here, but also blogging on the Alpaca Direct site.)

And here’s a little bit of spring on this snowy day:

Zauberball yarn in Floral Language
Zauberball in Floral Language

Get a ball of this gorgeous yarn and cast on some spring socks!



Posted in Knitting

Knitting patterns for speckled yarn

Brain Frieze knit cowl pattern by Susan Ashcroft
Brain Frieze by Susan Ashcroft

Speckled yarn is having a moment! I first saw it a few years ago in the form of acid yellow speckles on a cream base. I didn’t love it. But the more I see this type of yarn, the more it grows on me.

I was at Alpaca Direct a few days ago, and I saw a gorgeous project, Susan Ashcroft’s Brain Frieze Cowl. Alpaca Direct’s store manager Susan Melka knit this version from Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat and Tosh Merino Light. The Cheshire Cat is the speckled yarn (it’s the Dreadfully Frightened colorway from Halloween 2016, which is no longer available), and the “solid” is Tosh Light in the Filagree colorway, which is really a light green and yellow variegated. The two yarns work together beautifully in this pattern.

The trick to using speckled yarn in a multi-yarn project is choosing colors that complement each other. You need choose solids with enough contrast so that the speckle stands out, but not so much that it overpowers it.

Check out this beautiful project from my friend Carmen:

The Building Blocks knit shawl pattern by Stephen West. Photo copyright Carmen Wiley
Photo copyright Carmen Wiley

This project is Stephen West’s beautiful Building Blocks Knit Shawl. Carmen’s yarn choices are key to the success of this project; she picked two speckled yarns with similar colors and pulled out the blue and orange for her solid yarns. The transition from solid to speckled is perfect. Looking good, Carmen!

For more ideas, check out this post!

Have fun knitting with speckled yarn,