Friday, 3 February 2012

Knitting With Toft Alpaca

One of my other birthday presents this year was a Goody Bag from Toft Alpaca.

I was suitably impressed, not only with the gift but also because Steve had visited the Shop himself to purchase it.
He said the Lady was very helpful.
I think this may be an understatement when his offer was probably "She knits....".

My gift comprised of  100g Toft's Fine British Alpaca Yarn along with a pattern for a Fine Bobble-edge Scarf,  Pattern Book 1, a lovely bag to contain it all and a sample card of their other yarns.

The Pattern Book is interesting; it doesn't just have patterns in it.
It tells you about the Company and their Herd, obviously, but also about Alpacas in general and in the UK.  It goes on to explain how the yarn is processed and there are tips on knitting. A nice little book.

Toft's fibre is spun in Banbury and I was a little surprised to read that the Mill uses "original Yorkshire machinery". The mystery was solved for me when I discovered that the Yorkshireman Titus Salt was, apparently, the first to use Alpaca successfully and that Bradford remains "the great spinning and manufacturing centre for alpaca".

I like the idea that my yarn was spun on Yorkshire machinery.

I have started my Scarf.
The yarn is wonderfully soft and is knitting well.
The label indicates the use of 3mm needles, but the pattern calls for 5mm. Since the Nice Lady gave the pattern for use with this yarn, I am using 5mm and I think 3mm would not have produced the same bobble effect; they would have been smaller.

I am very happy with my gift.

I have also had a  quick look for Yorkshire Alpaca and discovered that there is an annual Yorkshire Alpaca Show held in Thirsk. The date for this year's show has not been set yet, it is still showing as 6th or 15th October. The British Alpaca Society website has a programme of all UK events.

We thought about having Alpacas, but we simply don't have enough space for them.

Have you made anything with Alpaca yarn?


  1. What a thoughtful gift. I've never knit with alpaca, I know it's wonderfully soft though, you'll be all snuggly wrapped in your scarf.

    1. Fab present - well done that man!

      I've only used an alpaca mix but I'd love to use it more - it was lovely to work with, and now I know it's possibly locally made, well, there really is no excuse, is there? :)

      I look forward to seeing how the scarf progresses :)

    2. I have nothing made with Alpaca but I have heard that it is very warm.

  2. Although I haven't knit with alpaca wool, I have felt the softness as there are alpaca here as well and the wool is sold locally. What a beautiful gift you received, and how sweet that you will be wearing such a warm cozy handmade scarf thanks to you husband ~ it will be like a constant hug from him :)

    I must say I'm still laughing about the comment you made after my last comment on your pork pasty ~ a nice way :) LOL I think you might be right! ;)

    PS my word verification was 'glori' How odd is that!

    1. The hug thought is wonderful, Glo!

  3. Very nice pressie!
    Yes, I had a Toft Alpaca goodie bag, purchased at WonderWool Wales last year. It contained a mix of chunky yarns which I knitted into a bag, then felted it. Also one of their signature wooden buttons. Huuuuge!!! Also, I'm knitting some supersoft alpaca socks.

    1. Hi Secret Sheep! Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment.
      I saw the buttons in the booklet :)
      I think I'd like to try a chunky yarn too.

  4. lovely!!!
    ps thanks for your pig comments they helped! x

  5. Hubby and I visited Toft Alpaca a few years ago to do an animal husbandry course for fun Valentine's Day present and I became transfixed by a lovely alpaca I wanted to buy so I could shear and process my own wool to knit with. In desperation my husband bought me a scarf knitting set from the shop until he could get me and his wallet safely off the grounds!

    1. Hi Steel! Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment. I think my kit was possibly a 'consolation prize' too :)
      I failed to mention the Courses they run, so thank you for mentioning them.


Please do leave a comment, even if you are simply passing by. We love to hear from our visitors and we do try to reply to everyone.
Thank You.