I’m Marie from Underground Crafter. Most crocheters and knitters love trying out new yarns, and I’m no different. I like to explore and get to know different fibers, and what better way than with a project? In today’s post, I’ll be talking about alpaca yarn and I’ll share a free crochet scarf pattern so you can try it out yourself!
Where does alpaca yarn come from?
(This is not a trick question!) As the name suggests, alpaca yarn comes from alpacas. Alpacas are pseudo-ruminant mammals that are part of the camelid biological family, along with camels and llamas. Alpacas have been domesticated in South America for several thousand years.
What makes alpaca yarn special?
Modern alpacas descended from animals raised in the Andes Mountains of Peru. In the Incan Empire, alpaca fiber was used to make clothes for royalty! Alpaca yarn doesn’t have lanolin like sheep’s wool, so it’s hypoallergenic. Like most natural fibers, alpaca is breathable, but it’s also very insulating. Living high up in the Andes, the alpacas needed their fleece to keep them cozy, and the yarn can do the same for you. Alpaca yarn is also more water repellant than wool, so it makes great crochet outdoor accessories for the cold, wet months.
Alpaca is a strong fiber, but it doesn’t have as much elasticity as wool, so it tends to “grow” or stretch after you finish it. For this reason, be gentle when blocking so you don’t stretch it out too much.
Another thing that makes alpaca special is the feel. Many people describe alpaca yarn as being as fine and soft as cashmere. Alpaca is more affordable than cashmere, though, as the animals are hardy and can survive in many different climes.
I love to make accessories with alpaca yarn since it is so soft against the skin, insulating yet breathable, and can tolerate exposure to rain water well. Since it is hypoallergenic, alpaca projects also makes great gifts! Try it out on the pattern for the Alpaca Caress Infinity Scarf, and let me know what you think!
Alpaca Caress Infinity Scarf
Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter
- Adult: 60” (152 cm) long x 4” (10 cm) wide after blocking.
- Galler Yarns Peruvian Tweed (100% superfine alpaca, 8 oz/227 g/600 yds/550 m) – 1 skein in 121 Pewter Black, or approximately 295 yds (270 m) in any medium weight alpaca yarn. 1 skein makes two infinity scarves – one for you, and one for a gift!
- US Size H-8 (5 mm) crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
- Yarn needle.
- Stitch marker or scrap yarn (optional).
- 13 sts x 10 rows = 4” (10 cm) in pattern. Exact gauge is not critical for this project.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern
- ch – chain
- dc – double crochet
- cdc – crossed double crochet – Skip st, dc in next st, dc in skipped st.
- FPsc – front post single crochet – Insert hook from front around back to front of pf in previous round, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops, sk st behind FPsc.
- hdc – half double crochet
- pf – puff stitch – (Yo, insert hook in sts, yo and draw up a loop) 4 times, yo and draw through all 9 loops.
- rep – repeat
- Rnd(s) – Round(s)
- sc – single crochet
- sk – skip
- sl st – slip stitch
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- * Rep after asterisks as indicated.
- Ch 252. For tips on how to work with a long foundation chain, read Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains.
- Set up row: Turn, sk 1 ch, sc in next st and in ea st across. Being careful not to twist, join with sl st to first sc to begin working in the round. (251 sts) Optional: mark last st of Rnd with stitch marker. Move marker up each Rnd.
- Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc, here and throughout), cdc around, join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
- Rnd 2: Rep Rnd 1.
- Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in same st and in each around.
- Rnd 4: Ch 3, *dc in next st, ch 1, sk 1; rep from * around, join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
- Rnd 5: Ch 2 (counts as hdc, here and throughout), *pf in next st, hdc in ch-1 sp; rep from * around, join with sl st to top of first ch 2.
- Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc in same st, *FPsc around next pf, sc in next ch-1 sp; rep from * around.
- Rnd 7: Rep Rnd 4.
- Rnd 8: Ch 1, starting in same st *sc in next st, sc in next ch-1 sp; rep from * around.
- Rnds 9-11: Rep Rnds 1-3. Fasten off.
- With yarn needle, weave in yarn tails.
- Gently spray block if desired.
Have you used alpaca yarn before? What is your favorite thing to make with alpaca?
- Tips and Techniques: How To Block Your Crochet Projects - May 19, 2016
- Tips and Techniques: How To Weave in Yarn Tails - May 11, 2016
- Tips and Techniques: Learning to Read Crochet Patterns - April 25, 2016