19 January 2012

Speaking of Yarn - Comparing Brands

Lately all of my knitting time has been spent working on a sweater for my mommy (I know, I spoil her, but she is pretty awesome).  Last year I made a pair of alpaca/wool gloves that she loves, and so I offered to knit her a similar sweater.  Because, honestly how often do you find people to knit for who honestly love what you make them?  I found a simple pattern that she really likes and started knitting!

Here is the progress I've made so far.  Yes, that is ribbing, and yes, the progress is slow.

Right from the start I really wanted to use my favorite Berroco Ultra Alpaca for the project.  Unfortunately, none of the local yarn stores carry it (the horror!), so I had to make do with a similar yarn.  I thought that buying Cascade Alpaca Lana D'Oro would be equally good (50% wool, 50% alpaca), was I ever wrong!  Immediately after I wound it up I realized, it is not even remotely the same.

So, I'm seriously disappointed in what I consider Cascade's knock-off of Berroco's Ultra Alpaca.  The biggest problem I have with it is that it does not have that alpaca softness, it feels more like regular wool .  I'll have to wait to get back to college to double check, but I would also say that the strands feel less puffy and substantial as well, giving the yarn a cheap feel.  

So, if you are ever in my position in the future, I would recommend that you not settle for the Cascade version, wait until you can buy the real deal (especially since there is generally only a dollars difference in price).  However, I still think that this sweater is going to look beautiful and be pretty warm too!


  1. Oh no! So sorry you had a sub-par yarn experience! :( And it's such a shame it doesn't have that super-yummy alpaca softness, because the color looks so rich. I'm sure it's going to be a GORGEOUS sweater though (it already is!) and your mom is going to love it! :)

  2. I just realized if you had waited a few days, Wildflower sells Ultra Alpaca. Good to know that Cascade isn't such a great brand after all. That pattern is very pretty though, and like Sara said, your mom will love it no matter what the fiber.

    1. Seriously? Dang it! Oh I know that it will turn out alright, but I'll never cheat on my favorite yarn again. I've learned my lesson.

  3. Even if the yarn doesn't feel the same, the color is gorgeous!

  4. Bummer. It's disappointing to hear that you're let down by this yarn. Sweaters are such big commitments, especially when you don't like the yarn you're using. Hopefully after a soak and block, you will have an FO you're pleased with, and regardless, I'm sure your mom is going to adore it!

  5. Really pretty sweater, sorry you don't like the yarn as much as Berroco. It is going to end up fabulous anyway, hurray!

  6. Different yarns can make such a huge different in our knitting. Hope your sweater turns out well.


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