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Sunshine and Bobbles - Buckland Sweater in Rowan Alpaca Colour

I. love. yellow. yarn.  I'm like a canary when in a yarn shop... always looking for my mate!  A lot of people say that yellow doesn't suit them, and I understand.  It can be a tough color.  In fact, my local yarn shop (and others I know) ordered every shade of the new Rowan Alpaca Colour except this one.  Mistake... this color is glorious!  It brings sunshine to a dreary, slushy Montréal winter's day.

My other Big Bird pursuits: Lively by Hanna Maciejewska, in madelintosh DK, Candlewick...

...Oak Leaves Cardigan by Amy Jansen, in Madisson Lea, a Swiss grocery store yarn.

Alpaca Colour is a new yarn from Rowan made from 100% baby alpaca.  It has 3 long hues of color in every one of the 10 shades.

Now.  This is probably one of the softest yarns you will ever touch.  No, seriously.  It's astonishingly soft, you will be very pleased.  But one of the reasons it's so soft is that it is a loosely spun single-ply yarn... so please don't expect a hard-wearing yarn.  Expect something with shine and a fuzzy halo, splitty to knit, with a tendency to pill.  If you do make garments with it, you will see build-up around the underarm seams and elbows/wrists.

I am very picky about pilling, but knew from the start that it was something I would have to accept... IF I NEEDED THIS COLOR AND SOFTNESS IN MY LIFE.

This is after 3 days of wear. 

 It's actually better than I expected, in that I only see it on the most contact-heavy seams.  (You know you have a bad yarn when you see pilling on places that don't touch anything at all.)   But I will update you in six months!

So, this was one of those "i need the yarn" moments with no pattern in mind.

Where best to look but the Alpaca Colour book from Rowan?  All the patterns are designed by Lisa Richardson, and she's one of my faves.  I settled on Buckland, because I loved those bobble-y shoulders so very much.

As you may know, I'm kinda obsessed with complicated knitting.  This pattern was quite a departure from my usual style.  I was totally amazed at how fast stockinette actually goes!

But then, I got bored.  Typical.  

However, I started a Rowan KAL for the Fall/Winter 2013 season, and the last official day is the start of the next season, January 15.  Come check out all the fab finished objects here.

Deadlines do wonderful things for the human race.  My glamour shot:

I'm not sure I've ever made a pattern without a modification, and this one was no exception.  But I was pretty loyal.  I did do a provisional cast-on so I could lengthen the sleeves later, and I slimmed them down significantly.

You can see that I may have over-did the "slope" of the decreases.  But it is so comfortable when a sweater is tight around the forearms!

As for the color changes, you will see that my sleeves match rather well... to do this, you will have to wind all the balls you have and match color changes.  THIS MEANS YOU MUST WIND CENTER PULL BALLS, so you can pick the right end to start with.  You see, the color changes are in an order, and you must pick the right order when you attach a new ball.  On the back, I started a new ball going the wrong way, and I duplicated a part of the stripe sequence by mistake!

**Also, as usual, please read Rowan schematics.**  I am a 36, but as seems to be more often the case, I did the XS (32-34) because the 32-34 was 36, and in my opinion, this should be a negative ease sweater.

The Alpaca Colour book is great.  I particularly love the cover design, which is a record, and even has the textured lines of a record.

In fact, the whole book is music themed, reflecting a photo shoot in Tin Pan Alley.

Stainsby pattern on Ravelry

We have two instruments in the house:  a double bass, which B. only looks good playing...

... and a...

.... weird teaching xylophone set that we found on the street one day?

Time for my Rowan modeling try-outs:

Career over. 

Next time, I'll have B. wear the sweater and play the bass.  Do you think it will fit?

Some other patterns I really love from the Alpaca Colour book:

Bolberry pattern on Ravelry, 9-13 skeins

Claydon pattern on Ravelry, 19-27 skeins (holy moly)

Coombe pattern on Ravelry, 14-20 skeins.

Wicken pattern on Ravelry, 10-16 skeins

Wow, some of these skein amounts are crazy, I know, and at $14/skein, it's no bargain.  But I will say that you will probably not find another baby alpaca yarn as luxurious, long-striping and beautifully colored as this one... and if you'd like to give it a try, Buckland only took 8 skeins!  ;)

See my Sunny Buckland on Ravelry

Click here to leave a comment!


  1. I'm knitting a pattern from a different Rowan book at the moment. I agree their patterns and yarn are lovely. My item also seems to be on the big side, so I will remember that about Rowan patterns in future. I tend to avoid yellow, but can see that it will look perfect when you want something cheerful.

    1. Yes, there seems to be a rather large, "I can't wear yellow" camp. I will just have to count myself lucky and blind everyone around me, ha! Which pattern are you making, may I ask?

  2. What a great post - beautiful yarn, pattern and workwomanship. Even a bit of humor!

    1. Thank you! Humor is everything, I wish I had more to give around. :)

  3. Great review on the yarn. It's beautiful. I love the "Lively" sweater that you have posted also. Might have to try that one as it is a little longer to fit my taste. Those of us that don't have skinny little waists & are a little older don't like our mid sections showing quite like the younger group! :) Loved your post, it tells so much!

    1. Totally agree about the midriff - although thank you for saying that 36 is the "younger group", woohoo! For the record, those are hip-hugging jeans. I usually wear higher-waisted things with tops like this. I didn't lengthen the pattern though, so it is a good indicator of what the pattern will give! Glad you liked the post. :)

  4. Wow Dayana, you are amazing. The skinny arms look so good because you have such LOVELY arms, mine are like blown up balloons from the elbows up :) Still, they look better now than they did 2 years ago. The yellow looks amazing, what beautiful yarn, looks like I may have a new book to order come my birthday in May !! I am a hopeless case, I know. Love your blog :)

    1. Thanks, Jill, I always appreciate your comments! Well, I do have to thank providence for my arms, when it comes to handknitting, because it looks good. HOWEVER, the whole reason I started knitting was because it is impossible for me to find sweaters (or coats, actually) with long enough arms! They seem to think that longer arms means you are a larger person, but I don't believe that at all. However, XXL usually fits my arm length, go figure?

  5. It's so beautiful, Dayana! I thought your photos were from the Rowan book at first! I love the design, but you took it to a new level of fun with the yellow. I have never knit a Rowan pattern. I have several years worth of rowan magazines that I cherish, but I suppose when I ordered them I was a new knitter and so never tried one of the patterns. This looks cozy too. I love the subtle striping of the alpaca, too.

    1. Oh, I love you thought my photos were the originals, hee hee, thank you! I find Rowan photos romantic and landscape-y, but often, they don't show any garment DETAILS and that drives me nuts. I guess that's my job, now, ha. If you ever dive into a Rowan pattern, we've got a "old Rowan pattern" KAL going in the Rowan Love group on Ravelry. There's some stunners in the vintage collection!

  6. Lovely sweater! I really like the subtle striping effect. If I were browsing through the pattern book I'd have immediately dismissed that sweater design; bobbles and broad shoulder don't mix. But it looks really fun on you. And it's just the right, happy shade to brighten up midwinter.

    1. The book has no examples of the yellow knit up in a garment, so the striping was a complete surprise to me as well. I really am glad there was the bright yolk-y color and not all mustard. Yes, one has to pick shoulder details carefully. My upper arm is the same width as my elbow, so I can get away with this stuff! I am doing another shoulder detail garment now, I'm an addict:

  7. I love your sunny yellow sweater Dayana! I am a 'cannot wear yellow' fact any colour with yellow in it like cream, orange, scarlet red, green, etc! But it does suit you....gorgeous!


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