Saturday, May 14, 2011

Knitting for Alpaca with a Twist

Alpaca with a Twist sent out a request for volunteers to knit some samples with their Baby Twist yarn.  I volunteered, and they asked me to knit four sample "squares" (read: rectangles) that they would then sew together and hang at TNNA.

Baby Twist yarn, image from Alpaca with a Twist's site

When I received my box and excitedly torn it open, I saw that I was to knit two Zebra Eyes and two Leopard Eyes colorwork samples.  The knitting world pays attention to fashion trends, and I had read that animal prints are very on trend.  I had not anticipated that fact ever, ever, ever to touch my life, but the universe has a sense of humor.  I actively hate animal print. 

Nevertheless, I was excited to get started.  The fact that it was animal print was a tiny setback, but this whole process was going to be fantastic!

The yarn, oh, the yarn.  It's delightful.  It's fuzzy--not mohair fuzzy, but fuzzier than wool, and so soft.  It was a pleasure to knit with that yarn.

I cast on and nearly immediately came upon a problem.

I've done colorwork.  It requires you, if you hope to do it with any sort of speed whatsoever, to hold one color in one hand and a second color in your other hand.  I have knit enough mittens and fingerless gloves that I can knit fairly well this way.  It's awkward, but I can do it.

Do you know what mittens and fingerless gloves have in common?  They're round.  When you knit round things, you are always looking at the front side, and you're nearly always doing the knit stitch.*

I'd never had to work across the back of a colorwork project, and I had no idea how to hold the yarn in my left hand.

It took watching some Internet videos over and over and over again, but I sort of figured out how to do "combination knitting," made famous by Annie Modesitt and, somewhat awkwardly, continued. 

I also realized just how many ends there are in these patterns.  A lot of ends, people.  A lot of ends.

There was one point in the leopard pattern when there are four colors used in a single row.  There's no good way to do this that I know of, so there was repeated detangling of the yarn balls. 

I was really worried about these guys before I blocked them.  They were extremely curly, and although I had tried to be very aware of not pulling the yarn too tightly, I was afraid that I had.

I blocked the heck out of them, and they turned out all right!  I used an absurd number of pins.  I didn't want those guys going anywhere.

Here's one of the zebra squares pinned with a gazillion pins.

Here's the finished product!  They're on their way back to Alpaca with a Twist, and I hope they're pleased with them.  I am, and I'm extremely excited to be finishing up a pair of socks with only one color!

*Yes, I know that's not necessarily true.  If you're a knitter, you know what I mean. 


  1. Those are too cool. I want to try that. They could make a funky animal print blanket. XD

  2. Awesome! I love the effect :)

  3. I can't believe they sent animal print. Craziness.