Sweetpea 'helping'A loved one of mine flew back to Boston in early December to see his father who’d been hospitalized after a heart attack. The trip’s been extended for a over a month now and I suspect he didn’t snag a warm scarf before departing California. I also suspect he could use a dose of Wildlands’ warm fuzzy.

I wanted a scarf that would keep him warm in Boston but that would be wearable once he’s returned to the Bay area. I looked through  dozens of men’s scarf patterns and didn’t find any that I liked. I wanted the scarf to be simple—classic—something he’d readily wear. It’s constructed using fingering-weight alpaca yarn, double stranded (one blue, one green), and yes, this should do nicely. The beauty of this scarf lies in its simplicity— 2×2 ribbing converted to a left-leaning cable separated by 2K columns. I’ve alternated the length of the cables to give it a bit more visual appeal.

Let the blocking begin!It’s been a lot of fun to knit and quite rapid— I began this scarf  a week ago tonight. Alpaca is great for several reasons. Unlike wool, only a very small part of the population is allergic, thus making it typically a safe bet for a gift. Second, alpaca is warmer than wool and when using the double strands of fingering-weight yarn, thinner than even sport-weight wool. Lastly, it is much softer than even merino wool; the result is a soft item that feels great against the skin.

While alpaca can be expensive, I often buy bulk lots on Ebay— typically 10 or 12 skeins for roughly $20.00. Purchasing yarn in this manner makes alpaca an affordable option.

Sweetpea overseeing the blocking processThis scarf, measuring 8 inches wide by 74 inches long when lightly blocked, used just under six skeins (3 of each colour).

Perhaps the only drawback to alpaca is that it does not have wool’s strong memory. As such, even when it is blocked (and allowed to dry completely), it will over time stretch and narrow. For a scarf, this isn’t much of a problem. Knitting a sweater becomes a bit more challenging, however.

Finished Jackson scarf (1.11.12)As you can see, Sweetpea lended her approval throughout the process. I love that the scarf appears more blue or more green depending upon the angle and lighting.

If you’d like the pattern, it is available here from my Etsy store.

Happy knitting!

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