And it's ready - The Journey Collection is finally here!

Don't worry, the wait is over! All patterns are out, both on our website and on Ravelry, and all kits are available for purchase! If you buy now we will reserve the colour of your choice, but no post will be going out until the week after the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (week commencing 12th of October).

All patterns from The Journey Collection are available as downloads or paper copies on the Purl Alpaca Designs website - click link to view.

All knitting kits are also available on the Purl Alpaca Designs website - click link to view.

We have also uploaded all patterns to our store on Ravelry! - click link to view.



Proudly presenting - The Journey Collection!

We have just received the edited images back from our photographer and we are so excited we can't wait to share it with you! We think the garments and the images are truly beautiful and really hope you do too!

Online release date has been set for the 5th of October! 

Louisianna Jacket

Let's start with one of Kari-Helene's favourite pieces from this collection; the Louisianna Jacket modeled by the beautiful Abigail. The loose and easy fit of this jacket is offset by the fabulous cable edging finished with a fringe detail along the back hem. The body of the jacket is knitted all in one with no side seams, no picking up of stitches and no adding of edge or fringe at the end!! It's a little bit like magic!

You may recognize the hat and scarf on our fabulous model Stephen as our George set! George hat and scarf works brilliantly for men as well as women and will keep anyone warm even on the coldest winter days! 

Linatra Bolero

Next up is the Linatra Bolero. This is a quick and fun knit. It is worked in one piece with fringe and cable edging worked at the same time as the bolero itself leaving you with absolutely no seams and only a few ends to sew in to finish. This neat little bolero makes a fun addition to any evening dress but also works beautifully with tunics and tops!

Luna Cowl

If you are worried about starting a large project using the fringe and cable at the same time, how about starting of with a smaller piece such as the Luna Cowl?
This cowl shape is one of our best selling styles of accessories and this year Kari-Helene has come up with a fresh and interesting take on the old favourite. The project includes short row shaping, and interesting cable edging and a nerve wrecking unravel technique to create the fringe! Definitely of the more exciting pieces!

Lucky Headband

To finish off our cable theme of this collection, we have decided to include another favourite; the headband. This lovely take on the headband is lovely and warm and uses the cable pattern to create a soft and pretty edge.

Lorelle Jumper

Here is a first for us; Kari-Helene has designed a jumper knitted completely in the round! Sleeves and body are connected through the cleverly shaped yoke. The yoke picks up the interesting stitch detail from the cuffs and the edge of the jumper.
The triangular detail is inspired by 1920's and 30's knitwear as well as the beautiful cuts of silk evening dresses of the same era.
The jumper is lightweight as it is knitted on large needles, works up really quickly and is a dream to wear!

Lily Dress and Bolly Waistcoat

Kari-Helene has been inspired by the glorious fashion of the 1920's and 30's whilst creating the Journey Collection. The women's fashion of the time was moving away from the voluminous and restricting dresses of the early 1900's and women were choosing dresses allowing them greater freedom. The Lily dress reflects the easy shapes of the era whilst picking up the elegant details of the brilliant designers of the time such as Madeleine Vionnet. The angular detail starting at the low of the back and moving with the shape of the rib cage towards the front creates an interesting and beautiful detail making this dress a true classic!

Kari-Helene has also picked up the beautiful zig zag detail of Lorelle and Lily and carried it through to the men's pieces of the collection tying the collection together. The Bolly Waistcoat is an easy slip over for both the stylish young man and the older stylish dresser. This is also a great piece for unisex dressing!   

Lady Cardigan

This cardigan is inspired by an original 1920's piece of knitwear. Kari-Helene has created a modern interpretation using colour work (we know, this is unusual for her!) and a fabulous garter stitch collar, creating a beautiful and super comfy piece of knitwear.  We look forward to seeing what colour combinations you come up with! However, if colour work is not your thing, this cardigan can easily be knitted in one colour only.

Lima Jumper

Here is another stylish piece for the male knitters or for those of you generous enough to knit for the men in your life!
Using the same zig zag detail as in the Lady Cardigan this becomes a modern, yet timeless piece of knitwear.
The jumper is knitted in the round hence eliminating the need for side seams.

So, there you go! The Journey Collection will shortly be coming your way. We are launching the collection at Alexandra Palace as usual and will also be adding the kits and patterns on the website at the beginning of October. We hope you are as excited as we are and we are looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Which design is your favourite? Which one will you knit first? Which one is for the Christmas wish list?

We're off to Yarndale now, hope to see you there!

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


What a busy week we've had - workshop, Hochanda TV and The Permanent Pop Up!

Last week was frantic - this is the reason why you have not heard from us in a little while. It all started off with last week's poorly alpaca baby. Luckily Lorelle has made a full recovery and is bouncing around the field again, but her illness meant Tracy had a back log of things to do!

Kari-Helene started the week cooking for our busiest workshop ever - 10 lovely people had booked on the Wednesday workshop, and Kari-Helene wanted to put on a feast! She travelled up to Cambridge Tuesday night and Wednesday it all kicked off.

The workshop was fantastic, we had a great group of ladies only this time, including some who had traveled very far to join us for the day! Our first ever overseas visitors were the lovely Amanda and Britta coming all the way from Denmark.
We enjoyed a lovely morning full of sunshine, knitting, cookies, teas and coffees before the rain storm hit in the afternoon. We were all very thankful we visited the alpacas in the morning!

Thursday started very early with a 6 o'clock rise arriving in Peterborough at the Hochanda TV studios at 8am. We had our debut show at 10am presenting a selection of our knitting kits. We had so much fun with the lovely team and our fabulous presenter Alex! We then did another show at 1pm with children's kits and finally a "best of" show at 6pm. We left Peterborough at 7.30 and arrived back in Cambridge just before 9pm. It was a long and tiring day but we arrived home feeling inspired and full of new ideas!

Our presenter Alex trying on Tracy's Juno (almost ready for sale!)

To finish the week we completed a delivery to London store The Permanent Pop Up. This unique shop is located in a cute courtyard in the heart of Soho and we are so excited our products will be on sale there from the 1st of October. We have had our knitters working hard over the last month and would like to say how lucky we are to have such a fabulous team working with us! We are very excited about the collaboration with The Permanent Pop Up and look forward to sending more beautiful knitwear their way!


So after a long and busy week both Tracy and Kari-Helene are feeling tired but at the same time incredibly positive and are looking forward to an amazing autumn!

Here's to our favourite season; knitwear season!

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


A story of a poorly baby alpaca, lovely people and scary injections.

This week, Tracy has had to face her fears and has learned to give injections.  It's amazing what you can do if you have to!  Her reluctant step into nursing was a surprise for us all.

On Friday 4th September, Tracy noticed our youngest cria, Lorelle, was looking hunched up, then gradually over the afternoon, it became obvious that something was seriously wrong. A flurry of phone calls to the vet culminated in Lorelle and Beauty needing to be taken to Cambridge Vet School.  Not having her own transport, Jane and Sophie were available to help and arrived at Burwash Manor with their Landrover and trailer.

Impressive transport for a cria and mum

Initial tests showed that Lorelle had pneumonia and was given 24 hour care by the fabulous vets Ellie and Ben.  She responded well to the antibiotics and pain killers and was collected by Tracy, Jane and Sophie on Sunday afternoon.  Ellie had recommended stabling or shelter for the week and to keep Lorelle separate from the herd so she could bond better with Beauty and not have to look for her when she was hungry.  Tracy had built a small enclosure next to the field shelter so that it was warmer for little Lorelle and Beauty could see the rest of the herd over the fence.  Beauty was not impressed and seemed annoyed at this solution!

"Mum, you look like a hampster!"

Sophie, Ben, Ellie and Jane

Beauty and Lorelle, back at Burwash

Lorelle then needed a course of treatment over the following week at timed intervals; hence the start of Tracy's nursing career, which became quite colourful. Now, we might have mentioned that as an experienced mother, Beauty doesn't like people interfering with her baby. This is the art of understatement!  Beauty can spit, she has excellent aim and impeccable timing. For the first treatment, before Tracy realised how bad it could be, her head, face and left ear were covered in green, glutinous, disgusting smelling goo as she attempted to give her first injection ever and put a cria coat on Lorelle. Obviously this wouldn't do, so she separated mother and baby and did what she had to do, before driving home and sticking her head under a running tap!

The next morning, Tracy caught herself with the needle and was successful in giving her second and third injections without bleeding on Lorelle!

Lorelle is gaining weight

For the past week, things have gone well for Lorelle, she is gaining weight and has now finished her treatment.  She's become quite feisty and active and is, we think, well on the way to making a full recovery.  Although she will be monitored this weekend, we're hopeful she and Beauty will return to the herd on Monday.

7.00 p.m. Saturday 12th September - Lorelle is looking so much better!


Annual photo shoot for Purl Alpaca Designs

We have just returned from a fabulous day spent at the Kent and East Sussex Railways. We chose this location for it's vintage trains and atmosphere, and it did not disappoint. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the trains were brilliant and we got some fantastic photographs!  

We can't show you the actual photos just yet, but here is a little taster of what goes on behind the scenes on a photo shoot day. 

Our lovely duo of Carolyn doing hair and makeup and Tiffany doing the photographs had a couple of fabulous models to work with in Stephen from PRM and Abigail from Wilhelmina. Such an easy going and friendly team!

Carolyn working on Abigail's hair.

Fabulous location at Kent and East Sussex Railways

Fabulous setting inside the train carriages.

The passengers were loving the added glamour to their journey!

We're feeling really excited about the new collection and can't wait to share it all with you!

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


Knitting the first big garment - one giant step or easy peasy?

You've knitted the wrist warmers and the hats and everyone and their uncle got a hand knitted scarf for Christmas. Now what? Are you ready for the big step into garment making? Fear not. It does not have to be that scary! Kari-Helene loves squares and rectangles, easy shapes that when combined creates simple, yet stunning and useful garments.

Can you knit? Can you purl? Cast on and cast off? Yes? Than you can knit Iago Waistcoat!


Still not convinced? We've asked a couple of our customers to share their experience of knitting Iago with us!

Aitzie was convinced to come to one of our workshops when she accidentally bought the waistcoat as a kit instead of a finished garment. Tracy talked her into giving it a go knitting it for herself and here she is modelling that finished first garment!

She arrived at the workshop having made a start herself and with some guidance from Kari-Helene made fantastic progress during the day. She completed the project at home and sent us these fabulous photos of her wearing it. Aitzie says that upon completing Iago she felt empowered and had the confidence to start other big projects.

Aitzie returned to our July workshop where she continued her knitting career making the Allegro Shawl. We are most impressed with how fast Aitzie is learning and the stunning garments she is making!

Iago Waistcoat by Purl Alpaca Designs - knitted by Aitzie Olaechea
Aitzie looking fabulous in her first EVER knitted garment!

Iago Waistcoat by Purl Alpaca Designs - knitted by Aitzie Olaechea
Aitzie feeding the alpacas whilst wearing their and her proud product!

Caroline Saunders met us at the Festival of Quilts and knitted Iago in no time at all! Iago wasn't Caroline's first ever garment, but after a break from knitting she found it a fabulous way of getting back into the swing of it. Here is what Caroline had to say about making Iago:

"I absolutely loved knitting Iago. It's been a long time since I knitted anything for myself with three small kids in the house, and it's such a quick and easy project to complete (brilliantly designed - two rectangles?!! How is that possible!!) it has really given me back my knitting mojo. I've had some great comments about it already, the best being from my husband who said it looks like something Katie Morag's cool auntie would wear! I'll take that as a compliment (Katie Morag is a Scottish children's storybook character who is always kitted out in the finest handknits!)."

Iago Waistcoat by Purl Alpaca Designs - knitted by Caroline Saunders
Caroline has made a wonderful version of the Iago Waistcoat

Iago Waistcoat by Purl Alpaca Designs - knitted by Caroline Saunders
Caroline's Iago Waistcoat from the back

Want to make your own Iago? You can get the kit from our website here. There is free delivery to mainland UK and you can choose between 10 gorgeous natural colours.
Already have some yarn you would like to knit this waistcoat with? No worries, you can download the pattern from our website or from Ravelry.

Let us know how you get on knitting Iago. We love hearing from you and seeing your photos!

Love, Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


And last but not least - Beauty gives birth to a stunning cria!

On Friday Beauty decided she didn't want to be the last one standing and gave birth to a lovely little girl! We've now had 7 babies this year; 6 girls and 1 boy. They are all healthy, all births but one have gone remarkably well, and even the problematic one had a happy ending!

We've had 5 stunning white cria, one cream and one brown, all with exquisite fleeces. We can not wait until shearing next year when we get to make yarn out of this lot!

The latest arrival is yet to be named, we have to decide on another name beginning with L - any thoughts?

Beautiful baby alpaca in sunset - Purl Alpaca Designs
This little lady was born to Beauty last week

A stunning baby alpaca in the evening sun!
Loving her first ever sunset!