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Circle Cliff Ranch Alpacas

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“Windy” — my newest creation

This luxurious alpaca yarn is from Carol’s boy. I took the fleece and the fleece from four of my girls to Crooked Fence Alpacas and Mill (located in Mona, Utah) for processing. I had everything except this fleece made in to roving. So glad I did this one to yarn as I don’t have a spinning wheel and can’t use the roving (yet).

The process of turning fleece into yarn isn’t an easy. This coming year, when we actually have the shearing of our flock, I will make sure we take pictures and I go into great detail.

Knitting details: (If you’re not a knitter, you can choose to stop reading if you want.)

Back to the Windy hat. I started off by casting on 49 stitches (54 stitches when I made Mike’s hat). This yarn is bulky. You may need to check a pattern for a different type of yarn. I connected to a circle and placed a marker. Using a size 11 circular needle (purchased at Kamille’s in West Jordan), I did a knit one, pearl one, until I liked the length of the band (about 1.75 inches). I switched to larger needles (13, also from Kamille’s) and did a straight “knitting in the round” until I liked the length (about 7 inches from the start of the hat). The last round I placed a marker every nine stitches (ok, I know that 49 divided by 9 doesn’t come out evenly, but it still turns out great).

On Mike’s hat, I went right to the decrease mode. Knitting seven stitches, knitting two together, and continued that until the round ended. The next round, I knitted six stitches and then two together. You get the idea. At the end I knitted two together. I switched to double pointed needles when it got too hard for circulars, and at the end, when I had about ten stitches, I cut the yarn with about ten inches of a tail, used a needle to slip through the last stitches, pulled it tight, pulled it to the inside of the hat, tied a knot or two, and then wove the last of the yarn through the inside of the hat, leaving no trace.

For the “Windy” hat, I basically did the same with the decrease, EXCEPT I did a regular knit row without decreasing BETWEEN the decrease rows, making the decrease longer and giving me a little floppy back part of the hat. I love the results, and enjoyed wearing the hat yesterday! I’ll be wearing it a LOT this winter, because it is windy here. Very windy.