Twenty years ago, alpaca owner Linda Niemeyer had a quandary: after shearing her animals and spinning the fiber into yarn, she had an overflow of goodness. (I know – we should all be in this situation!) Her solution: take it to a local yarn shop and sell it under the name of Blue Sky Alpacas. Thus a company was born. Today, Blue Sky sells wool, cotton, and silk blends in addition to the eponymous fiber which beget the business, and knitters are able to find beautiful yarns to play with when they create.
Alpaca devotees have a great deal of choice, ranging from royal fingering, to sport weight “baby”, both of which are created from one hundred percent alpaca yarn. Blends include DK brushed Suri (which includes merino and bamboo), two sport weight alpaca silks (the eponymously named line and Metallica), and a number of merino/alpaca blends. Hand-dyed colors are available; of particular note is the American Scenic worsted-weight line, an alpaca/merino/silk blend offered in four tweedy colors.
Those of us living in warm climates will be particular impressed with the company’s line of organic cotton yarns. Offered in worsted and sport weight, these yarns are dyed in a variety of colors, including solid and multi-colored shades. The range is particularly nice for those looking for bright colors, jewel tones, and rich sophisticated shades that are often hard to find. All of these yarns knit up easily and produce lovely scarves and sweaters.
The company offers a plethora of patterns to complement their yarn lines. Many of these are simple, single-color sweater or accessory instructions designed to showcase the beauty of the yarn. However, home accessory or toy knitters will also find a few selections here, as will those looking for stranded, cable, or lace patterns. Three kits are available, offering mini-skeins for color enthusiasts who don’t want to end up with a great deal of leftover yarn.
Make no mistake: this is luxury yarn. A hank of Blue Sky Worsted Hand-Dyes retails for around twenty-five dollars a skein. A sweater with a thirty-six inch chest measurement would require roughly fifteen hundred yards, at a cost of three hundred and seventy-five dollars – out of range for all but the most devoted knitters. Worsted cotton, at fourteen dollars a skein, is much more affordable, but still a reach for those on limited incomes. Most of us will limit ourselves to using these yarns for accessories that require between one and three skeins, and consider the purchase a special treat.
Knitters will find Blue Sky yarns at local yarn shops across the world, as well as at online stores.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Blue Sky Fibers company, and have purchased yarn with my own funds.