As we continue into winter and temperatures keep dropping, you’ll probably be looking forward to blankets, sweaters, and other warm and cuddly objects. When it comes to warm winter knits, there are no choices better than wool and alpaca. Insulating, soft, and oh so snuggle-able, these fibers are perfect for everything from snowball fights to chilly evening walks. We carry several great wool and alpaca yarns for your next project, in colors both bold and¬†neutral. ¬†Here a tour of a few of our favorites:

TWIRL YARNS

If local fiber is your thing, you’ll love Twirl ¬†yarn. This collection of natural and plant-dyed yarns comes from the¬†Napa Valley farm of Mary Pettis-Sarley. Mary’s shepherding adventures began in 1994, and she and her husband currently¬†manage and care for 150 mother cows, around 40 head of sheep‚Äď which becomes about 100 when it‚Äôs lambing season – 20 mohair goats, several alpacas, 2 donkeys, a pack of sheepherding dogs, chickens, horses, and a few birds and cats. The sheep are a blend of karakul, shetland, CMV, and Romeldale, and both the sheep and their resulting yarn are impeccably cared for. The sheep are treated humanely and allowed to range freely, and after returning from the mill every skein¬†is washed and hung with a weight to set the spin and then then neatly wound into a ball.

Mary Pettis-Sarley, her husband, and their furry friends (left), Twist yarn in plant-dyed (center) and natural (right) colors.

Mary Pettis-Sarley with a few furry friends (left), Twirl yarn in plant-dyed (center) and natural (right) colors.

IMPERIAL STOCK RANCH

Move slightly further afield and you’ll find Imperial Stock Ranch.¬†The Ranch is a family owned and operated ranch located on more than 30,000 acres of Oregon‚Äôs beautiful high desert, and they produce (among other things) a wide variety of yarns under their Imperial Yarn label.¬†All of the wool from the ranch is specially milled without harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures, leaving it comfortable, soft, and pure. Each of the ranch’s nine versions of yarn and spinning fiber are custom colored to reflect the ranch’s unique high-desert landscape. One of our favorite patterns with this yarn is the Andora Cape – several Knitterly staff members are currently making it!

Erin, a worsted weight 3-ply (left); Columbia, a worsted weight 2-ply (center); Bulky 2-Strand (right).

Erin, a worsted weight 3-ply (left); Bulky 2-Strand (center); Andora Cape (right).

BLUE SKY ALPACAS TECHNO

When it comes to alpaca, Blue Sky Alpacas is always a customer favorite. We especially like their Techno yarn, a blend of alpaca, silk, and Merino wool that comes in a collection of neutrals as well as a collection of 70s inspired neon colors. Techno is also a bit of a marvel of technology: the¬†baby alpaca and wool are blown into a mesh tube of silk for really fast knitting with literally no splitting. We’re excited enough to be the shop profile in the next issue of Vogue Knitting, and in the article you’ll find a photo of Shelli in a self-fringing¬†scarf made from this yarn!

Techno yarn in Lounge Purple (left) and Smoke (center), Shelli's self-fringing scarf (right).

Techno yarn in Lounge Purple (left) and Smoke (center), Shelli’s self-fringing scarf (right).

PLYMOUTH BABY ALPACA GRANDE

If you’re looking for a quick knit, look no further than Plymouth’s Baby Alpaca Grande line. These chunky aran-weight yarns are soft, squishy, and perfect for a quick cowl¬†or cute baby jacket.¬†The Baby Alpaca Grande¬†collection¬†features several types of yarn, and we carry them all! Regular Baby Alpaca Grande features solid tones in almost every color of the rainbow, Baby¬†Alpaca¬†Grande Hand-Dye is (you guessed it!) a group of hand-dyed yarns in several beautiful¬†variegated¬†colorways, and the Baby Alpaca Grande Hues yarns¬†feature¬†plies in different colors for a tonal self-striping look. Last but not least, Baby Alpaca Grande Tweed has a heathered look that’s perfect for rustic cables or men’s projects, and it’s available in a great set of natural colors and saturated jewel tones.

plymouth-baby-alpaca-grande

Baby Alpaca Grande (left), Baby Alpaca Grande Tweed (center), and Baby Alpaca Grande Hues (right).

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