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The Best Things to Knit With Alpaca Yarn

These alpaca yarn knitting patterns will have you swearing off lambswool forever.

Updated June 17, 2020
The Best Things to Knit With Alpaca Yarn

If you find yourself with a skein (or ten) of gorgeous alpaca yarn, consider yourself lucky. Not only is it typically harder to come by than run-of-the-mill sheep's wool, but it's considerably more luxurious. Alpaca wool is anecdotally softer and cozier than even mohair or merino, but, naturally, the quality of the yarn makes all the difference. You may be wondering what to make with alpaca yarn, fearing wasting such precious (and expensive) yarn. The answer is: anything you would make with regular wool!

Like sheep's wool, alpaca wool is best for its warmth and water repellency. The fibers of alpaca fur tend to be lighter and smoother than those of sheep's wool, however, which makes it more ideal for close-to-skin garments and accessories than scratchy lambswool. This doesn't mean that knitting with alpaca can't get itchy, however, so it's still worth keeping a good wool wash on-hand to treat your newly-knitted items. Since the characteristics of knitting with alpaca are essentially the same as standard wool, what to make with alpaca yarn includes anything warm and wearable—don't waste this deluxe yarn on home decor or amigurumi! Check out the alpaca yarn patterns below for some great ideas.

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Scarves and Shawls

How many times have you worn a wool scarf and felt plenty cozy while wandering around outside, but your neck is raw, red, and all scratched-up from all the itching? This is less likely with alpaca yarn patterns, but since it's just as warm, it's perfect for that sensitive neck skin. These knitted scarf patterns for alpaca yarn are your new favorite itchy-skin solutions. As shawls drape over everything from your neck to your arms, you'll find alpaca is the perfect fiber for those, too.

Hats

My personal pet peeve is an itchy hat. It's bad enough that this beanie is about to give me hat hair, but if I'm going to have to reach inside my hat to scratch my head every two minutes, how warm am I actually getting? Alpaca yarn, or even just alpaca blends, in hats will help curb some of that annoyance but still wick away some of the moisture from wintry rain and snow.

Sweaters and Cardigans

The warmth of wool sweaters just can't be beat... until you've tried alpaca. Suddenly it doesn't feel like you're holding the weight of the world up on your back and arms, since alpaca is typically lighter, but you're still just as cozy! We'd still recommend wearing an undershirt beneath any sort of alpaca sweater (because, hey, animal fiber still gets somewhat itchy) but if you happen to forget one day, it won't ruin your outing. These wearable alpaca yarn patterns are the best way to get the most out of the soft luxuriousness of the fiber.

Slippers and Socks

You'll be hard-pressed to find any sock knitter worth her salt who doesn't swear by a superwash wool blend for socks or slippers, but the extra care necessary to wash alpaca yarn (meaning you can't just chuck it into the washing machine and go) is worth the cozy softness of the socks it makes. However, if you are going to make socks or slippers using alpaca yarn patterns, we recommend making sure that it comes in a blend of nylon or another similarly stretchy synthetic yarn so it stands up to the wear and tear of regular use.

Fingerless Gloves

Need we say more? Not only do you want the warmest yarns for your fingerless gloves (hey, they're fingerless—the lack of fingers means you'll need to take all the warmth you can get!), but you'd prefer that it be as unobtrusive as possible considering you use your hands for everything. You don't need to be stopping constantly to scratch your hands and arms! Alpaca yarn patterns for fingerless gloves, mittens, and other close-to-skin accessories are perfect for that which you'll want to be able to forget you're wearing.

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