A few weeks ago, I looked at Berroco Ultra Alpaca; this week we’re taking a look at it’s baby sibling, Berroco Ultra® Alpaca Fine. This fingering weight yarn is used in the Teeter Totter shawl (did you see the post with alternate colorways?) from Berroco Portfolio Volume 2, as well as in two patterns from Berroco Portfolio Volume 1 (and many more)!
Ultra Alpaca Fine, like Ultra Alpaca, blends wool and alpaca fibers into the yarn, but the mix is a little different: Ultra Alpaca Fine is 50% wool, 30% nylon, and 20% alpaca. This blend is great for shawl knitting, as well as for knitting other accessories that require drape, but the nylon adds strength and stability—qualities that are important if you’re knitting socks. Alison Green designed the Hestia Socks for Portfolio Volume 1, and you can see how this yarn shows off stitches when knit at a sock knitting gauge.
The Hestia Socks are knit on US Size 1s and the recommended gauge on the Ultra Alpaca Fine ball band is US size 2 (3 mm). I used a size 2 for my swatch and I got about 25½ stitches in 4″ of knitting. As I’ve said before, my tension is a little bit looser, so if I were going to knit socks, I’d definitely need to go down to a size 1—possibly even a size 0 (and I’ve done that before because of my tension). However, if I were to knit a garment at my gauge, I’d have a nice fabric that would be breathable and flexible while still providing good coverage.
Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine works up nicely at a variety of different gauges—be sure to do a gauge swatch before starting any project, to make sure the resulting fabric is one you want for the project. For example, the Teeter Totter shawl is knit on a size 3 needle, though I would probably knit it on a size 2, since I like the fabric that I got from my swatch. For a lacy shawl such as Nest, designed by Emily Nora O’Neil, I’d probably use the recommended needle size (US size 3).
We’ve got plenty more patterns for Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine on our website! What have you knit with this yarn?