Christmas is over, but I’m not over Christmas

Christmas is over in every possible way, but we were gone during the season’s 12 days of celebration, so the tree is still up. Taking it down has not even made it into conversation yet. Also, you haven’t seen it yet. So here it is, with another new project:

(You also get a good view of our new ornament for this year. Guess where Jared went to a conference.)

A couple months ago, Jared also went to an alpaca farm. There was a vague attempt to keep it secret that was almost entirely unsuccessful, but I was definitely surprise when I pulled two skeins of white alpaca yarn out of my stocking. They’re both fingering, undyed, from a farm in MD, but here’s the fun part – one is 100% huacaya, and one is 100% suri.

For half of you, your eyebrows just went up. Allow me to unconfuse you.

There are two kinds of alpacas: Huacaya and Suri. Huacayas are the most common, and their very soft fiber is versatile and smooth. If you buy alpaca yarn, it’s usually huacaya (‘cuz if it was suri, they’d advertise it, and charge you more). Suri, on the other hand, is one of the softest fibers known to man, rare, and expensive. To have a fingering weight yarn in 100% alpaca at all is a dream, but the suri? I opened it on Christmas eve and had it wound with a pattern and needles in a bag before we walked out the door to the second Christmas eve service.

I spent like an hour just geeking out over this yarn, which is quite unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s so impossibly drapy, and rather underplied, so that to look at it in the skein, you’d think it was just linen with a halo (which would be weird indeed). It’s dense, heavy, and riduculously soft. You might think it weird that I just recently finished a lace shawl out of undyed alpaca, but am finding this lace shawl in undyed alpaca amazingly novel, but *shrug* nerdiness is as nerdiness does, I guess.

It looks like Ramen now, but it’s going to be a Triinu scarf (rav link) out of Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia (the same book out of which I knit the last lace shawl in undyed alpaca). The pattern reminds me of holly, what with 3 nupps at the base of two rows of branching holes. I don’t have quite enough for the 29 repeats it calls for, but I estimate that I will be able to get up to 24, and I don’t need it long. My neck won’t care about length. It’ll be too busy going “mmmmmm suuuuuri.”

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