By Christina Behnke
With its gemlike gleam and silken hand, Joy is the crown jewel of the Yarnalia collection. This laceweight 100% alpaca yarn is spun from the finest baby alpaca fiber, which we’ve carefully sourced from some of the best alpaca farmers in the world.
Alpaca is known for its unparalleled drape. Joy’s 2-ply spin is more relaxed than a similarly spun wool yarn might be, thanks to alpaca’s naturally languid nature. The resulting strand is smooth and fluid, with only a suggestion of surface texture where the two plies—which themselves are firmly spun—intertwine.
As a result, Joy eludes the “pebble” effect often seen in fabrics knitted using traditional 2-ply yarns. Stitches are crisp and even, with a glossy finish that places the focus on pattern detail.
The naturally relaxed plying in Joy also creates an airer lace yarn. The plies have more freedom to push away from one another when knitted, creating space between them and producing light, diaphanous fabrics. This quality also helps to bolster stitches knitted at more open gauges, which means that Joy offers incredible elasticity as well.
Patterns block out crisply—an important detail for lace patterns—and retain their shape. While the suggested needle size is a US 2, you can feel confident pushing up to larger needle sizes. (Either way, be mindful of the type of needle tips you use. Typical lace sharps can snag the plies if you’re not paying attention.)
Not only does alpaca fleece come in more natural shades than that of any other wool, but alpaca fiber can also be dyed in a sweeping range of colors. This is evident in Joy’s color range of 12 solids and tonal heathers.
While the dyed solid shades are intensely saturated, the tonal shades offer wonderful dimension. The subtle color variegations play off the natural gleam of alpaca yarn, creating a beautiful dappled-light effect.
But most importantly, Joy has a buttery softness that you’ll have to feel to believe. Made of fine baby alpaca fiber, Joy is soft enough for the most sensitive wearers, making it just as appropriate for baby sweaters as it is for close-wearing scarves. And with alpaca yarn, soft doesn’t have to mean fragile.
Even a single strand of Joy has amazing tensile strength, meaning your yarnovers are safe from the usual wear and tear. Your finished projects will be pill-resistant as well. Joy creates heirloom knits that are meant to be worn!
What are you planning to knit with Joy? Be sure to tag us (@yarnalia) when you post your projects!