This Purl Alpaca Glacier Cardigan originally started out as a jumper. I had purchased the beautiful Yarn Stories FineMerino and Baby Alpaca yarn in toffee for Purl Alpaca’s Niobe Jumper, but after a couple of mishaps I had to rethink this plan!
The construction of Niobe is very interesting. You knit the jumper in the round from the bottom up, split in half to separate for the front and back, and then continue in a simple lace stitch for the arms and chest. You then split for the neck, continue the lace down the back and then graft the top of the garment to the previously knitted back. I had knitted all of it, I’d even managed to fairly seamlessly (and after many attempts) graft the top to the bottom, and was almost done, when I realised that I had more stitches left at the bottom of the work then the top. GUTTED.
I emailed Kari-Helene the designer and with her help I realised that SOMEHOW I had managed to not equally split my stitches. HOW DOES A PERSON DO THIS?? Anyway, I was then faced with having to rip back right to the beginning, and so chose then to do the jumper in a different colour, and use the Yarn Stories yarn for something else.
I LOVE the colour of the yarn, but when I tried on the half completed jumper, I realised that there was a lot of brown, and that this might not be that flattering!
So back to the Glacier Cardigan. I knew exactly what I wanted my beautiful toffee yarn to be, a nice, longish cardigan with a shawl collar, and was surprised to find that Purl Alpaca had exactly this in their Glacier pattern. At first I wasn’t sure about the design, as the stitches for the top and bottom go in different directions. For the bottom piece you knit vertically from the bottom upwards and for the top you knit horizontally from cuff to cuff. After reflection though I decided I didn’t mind this, and I’m so glad I carried on!
I REALLY love the cardigan, it is EXACTLY what I wanted and I can’t wait for this silly warm November to bugger off and allow the cold November to arrive so I can fully appreciate it’s snugglyness!
I have to be honest though, as much as I love the design, the yarn is the real winner. I was impressed with Yarn Stories after knitting a vintage lace blanket for my friend in their Fine Merino 4 ply in the beautiful cobalt, but seriously the best was yet to come!
I CANNOT even tell you how soft this yarn is! It has literally surpassed any of my expectations! The description of the yarn says that the baby alpaca gives the yarn “a touch as soft as cashmere” and this really is no exaggeration! I don’t want to take it off! The suggested needle size is 5mm, but I chose to knit using 5.5mm needles as I wanted a less dense fabric, so the resulting garment is soooo light!! It hardly feels like you’re wearing it! I’m guessing at the moment I sound like I’m on the Yarn Stories pay check, but this is unfortunately not true, and here is the downside.
This yarn is a bit pricey at £7.25 for 50g, but I think its 100% worth it. I originally bought 9 balls of yarn, and had to order an additional 3 to complete the cardigan, which makes it a pricey £87, way more than I would usually pay. Had I not been given some ‘thank you’ money from my cousin I probably wouldn’t have spent that much, but I’m so glad and I would pay it again for this yarn as it’s completely worth it! And when you look at the price of knit wear on the high street for something that’s not even 100% natural fibres, there really isn’t any contest.
Anyway, I’ll stop going on now! As the design of the cardigan is really straight forward I didn’t encounter any real problems. The only slight one was that I had forgotten to make allowances for knitting in a slightly larger needle size, so the bottom section of the cardigan was slightly wider than the top, which meant I had to do a some ‘creative’ mattress stitch to get the two to fit together. Once I had blocked the cardigan out though this was doesn’t really show (although I see it straight away!).
Overall this is my new favourite squishy woollen item and I encourage everyone to check out this yarn as it’s amazing!