26.3.15

Alpaca Rain - our best selling yarn is back in stock!


For a little while now we have been completely sold out of one of our most popular colours; Alpaca Rain. One of many reasons is that the Icon dress sample was knitted in this colour and ever since then it has been a best seller! If you have been waiting to order your Icon dress knitting kit in Alpaca Rain (taupe), now is the time to do it! 

Alpaca Rain (taupe); British made alpaca yarn
Alpaca Rain (taupe) in Medium; a beautifully soft yarn!

Alpaca Rain (taupe) in Fine; a 100% British made product
Alpaca Rain (taupe) in Fine; a gorgeous colour blend!

Our yarn is made from 100% British alpaca fibre. Tracy own 18 alpacas and keep them on a farm just outside Cambridge; Burwash Manor. This year we are expecting 4 crias (baby alpacas) and we are very excited! The babies are due in June and we have a workshop date and an evening event in July where we are hoping to show off the newly born cuties!
We use the fleece from our own alpacas as well as from a few selected local farms and try to be very hands on in selecting the fibre. This way we know only the very best fleeces go into making our yarn!


Medley scarf is amde from undyed, natural British Alpaca yarn
Medley Scarf is knitted in Alpaca Rain Medium

 Medley is one of the samples we have made using the Alpaca Rain colour. It is one of Kari-Helene's favourites, but because it is so popular it isn't always we have enough for her to play with. You guys, our lovely customers, always get first choice!

Medley Scarf, a fun and intersting knitting project from Purl Alpaca Designs
Medley Scarf is a fun knit, lots of different stitches!

The colour Alpaca Rain is not a colour we get straight off the alpacas' back. It is a blend of colours. Because we never dye any of our yarn and only produce a 100% naturally coloured yarn, we have to get creative with the fleeces we have. Alpaca Rain is a mix of fibre, some Rose Grey and some Red Fawn as well as a little bit White makes the stunning shade you see above. Medley is the closest alpaca we have seen to this colour! Isn't she a cutie?

Medley; a super cute, multi coloured baby alpaca.

So, there you go, Alpaca Rain is back in stock. We hope you will love it as much as we do!


Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx

19.3.15

A very busy March - Olympia Knitting and Stitching Show and Edinburgh Yarn Festival

The last few weeks have been incredibly hectic! Since we went to Unravel in Farnham at the end of February it feels like it's all been a bit non stop! First we had a huge yarn delivery - new stock of Taupe, Dew and Champagne is in and they are all up on the website in case you have been waiting to order. Next up we had to pack and get ready for Olympia.

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London has been getting better and better every year and we are starting to love the West London Show almost as much as its East London autumnal sister. As always, so many of you came to see us to show of your finished projects and here are the Olympia knitters for you!

Corrie wearing her Icon Dress

Heini and Tracy being silly! 

Hillary wearing her Esme Jumper

Kari-Helene wearing her beloved Duchess

Lynn wearing the Florence Cowl

Margaret wearing her Esme Jumper

Nice selection of accessories by Sheila and Gillian
Up next was our next knitting workshop. We had a lovely time with Rebecca, Nina and Wendy. The alpacas were on good behaviour (apart from Hope who had a tantrum because Duchess ate her apple) and the weather was not playing up like last time!

http://www.purlalpacadesigns.com/knitting-workshops/

And then, directly after that, we got into Bessie, our van and drove to Edinburgh! We attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and we had an absolutely lovely time. Jo, Mica and their team did a fabulous job in organising, entertaining and feeding us all over the course of the two day show. We loved meeting the friendly crowds (yes, Saturday was a bit crowded, but still lovely!) and we enjoyed Scotland very much although we didn't see the sun until we were back across the border to England!

Even though we have never visited Scotland with Purl Alpaca Designs before, some of our knitwear had made it to show anyways!

Claire wearing her coral Allegro Shawl

Louise wearing Isis Cardigan

Shelley wearing Chelsea Waistcoat
After all this we need a holiday! But there really is no rest for the wicked - alpacas must be looked after, end of year accounts coming up and new collection is on the cards!

Until next time,

Tracy and Kari-Helene xxx

12.3.15

The perfect gift for your mum on Mother's Day; a knitting workshop!

Here's a brilliant idea for you; why not treat you mother to a day out for Mother's Day? Over the years we have had so many mothers and daughters attending one of the Purl Alpaca Designs' knitting workshops together as well as mothers being treated to a workshop by their loved ones. We think it makes a brilliant day out and we've had such great feedback.

We have had sons buying for their mums but still no sons attending a knitting workshop; where are you, knitting men with knitting mothers? You must be out there somewhere?

You can book workshops through the website and add in the contact field that you would like to pay for the full amount, should you so wish.

Here are a few of the mother/daughter pairs we've had at our workshops.

Jane and Amy attended this workshop together

4.3.15

Limited edition hand dyed alpaca yarn

We have a very exciting announcement to make; we have just received a small batch of our pure alpaca fine yarn hand dyed into 5 amazing colours by the wonderful Marianne Cant of Picperfic.
This is a one off happening and we have such a small amount that it will only be available on our stand (H80) at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia this week. It will be on a strict first come first served basis and once it is gone it is gone!

Feast your eyes on these fabulous skeins of jewel coloured yarn and should you want some, make sure you turn up to the show early!














25.2.15

Vote for your favourite contestant!

What a lovely time we had at Unravel! The weather was lovely (up until we had to load the van on Sunday, of course), the people are fantastic and the other exhibitors brilliant! Unravel is one of our absolute favourite shows.

This year we were running a competition. To enter you had to come to the show wearing one of our designs. 5 people have done so, and there photos are up on Facebook. You have to go to the Purl Alpaca Designs Facebook group to vote by liking the picture you think deserves to win! Here is the link to vote: https://www.facebook.com/PurlAlpacaDesigns

Here are the contestants:


 This is Kim wearing her Icon dress. We love the way she has styled it with the black top underneath, patent boots and pearls. It looks so glam!


Glynis Stephens has made Balboa Waistcoat in Taupe. We have always said how well taupe goes with purple, and here's proof! The shawl pin is a fabulous touch, Glynis!


Ingrid Hopson has made Chelsea Waistcoat. She has chosen a soft pink colour and we think it works really well! The colour really suits you, Ingrid, and so does the shape of Chelsea! 


Karen Way has knitted Isadora Jumper in ivory. She has added pretty beads at the lace edges to give it that extra little sparkle! Lovely!


Caroline is wearing a wonderful version of Balboa Waistcoat. Styling it with a t-shirt and black jeans gives the look a very grungy feel and we absolutely love it. A good example of how versatile our knitwear is!

Ready, steady, VOTE!

12.2.15

5 cute and fluffy alpacas from our own herd!

This week we are focusing on alpacas and although we don't really have favourites (no parent really have favourites, do they?) we have chosen 5 cute and lovely ones to feature in today's blog.

Our alpacas graze on the green fields of Burwash Manor, a great destination for a day out. Burwash Manor is a fully operating organic farm that also have a shopping village with an array of interesting shops. The Larder is fantastic and full of local, organic and tempting products and there is also a charming cafe/restaurant across the square. There is a haberdashery, a florist, a clothing store and many more interesting stores to peruse; most definitely a great place for a day out!

When you are there you can also stop by the field and say hi to our herd of alpacas. You might even be able to recognise some of these 5?

1. Champagne Charlie


A cheeky little alpaca named Charlie. When he was little he loved to pick up the bag full of apples, empty them al out and then run around the field waiting for Tracy to try catch him. These days he just eats all the apples. And all the food. He truly is a greedy alpaca, and Tracy has to push him out of the way to let the others eat in peace!
All our alpacas have given their name to one of our designs and this is the Charlie Pom Pom Scarf.

2. Helene


Any ideas how Helene got her name? Sounds familiar to someone we know? She is of course named after Purl's very own designer, Kari-Helene. Helene is the daughter of Fantasia, the first alpaca from Tracy's own breeding program. She is a lovely little girl, although now she is not so little anymore, she's expecting her own cria in a few months! Did you know baby alpacas are called cria?
Helene has provided the name for the Helene Top with cable detail at the waist.

3. Inca


This is Inca when she was only a little cria. She looks pretty innocent in this photo, but trust us she is not! We call her 'Inca, the tinker' as she always seems to come up with some sort of naughty behaviour. She and Juno are constantly up to no good, such as escaping from their paddock.

Inca gave name to one of our most popular headbands as the geometrical pattern made us think of ancient Inca designs and architecture.


4. Duchess


This is Duchess. She was the first alpaca Tracy bought when only three months old and has always had a special place in Tracy's heart. She is a lovely alpaca with a gentle temperament, unless she is pregnant. When pregnant alpacas can very often become grumpy and aggressive and Duchess is definitely one of the grumpier ones! She is a very good mum though and is now the proud parent of George, who's in the photo with her, Havana and Isis.  She is expecting again and we're looking forward to seeing the new cria in June

Duchess gave her name to one of our most popular designs and Kari-Helene's favourite. Even though the Duchess Cardigan is from our Seashore Collection in 2009, it is still a best seller!

5. Isis


When we were launching our Waterways Collection in 2012 we had left naming the designs a little late. The reason was all our new cria were being born very late that year, some not until September! A cria is usually born between May and September, so our girls left it late this year! We were just about to send the patterns to print when Tracy excitedly rang Kari-Helene to say an alpaca had been born and she had to be named Isis! This is after the Egyptian goddess of magic and fertility. This picture is taken almost right after she was born and she is sitting in the warm September sun drying a little before she got up on her feet and started bouncing around.

The design lucky enough to be named after a goddess and a beautiful alpaca was the Isis Cardigan. A very flattering design that could even be worn for smart evening wear, we think!

Happy knitting
Love Kari-Helene & Tracy