A few weeks ago I attended the Old Book and Paper Show where a lovely old man selling vintage fashion magazines slipped an old knitting pattern between the pages of my purchase:
I looked at the women on the front and saw they were a paragon of modern beauty. Their feathered hair and liberally applied rouge spoke to me, and I immediately knew their stylish accoutrement belonged in my wardrobe.
This is a baby alpaca:
They are so cute! Like, violently cute. Why isn’t this more talked about? Be mine, baby alpaca. You can move into my 1-bedroom apartment and we’ll eat sweet potato burritos and watch documentaries about Belizean cocoa farmers and I’ll brush your soft fur and you’ll keep me warm and we’ll be friends always. Deal?
I started knitting the Condo Sweater pattern with my new baby alpaca yarn, but it didn’t go very well. The stitch it uses didn’t translate well to the yarn I was using and the fit wasn’t quite right, so I started over, changed to seed stitch, and only used the pattern as a guide.
And I’m exceedingly happy with the result! It’s super soft, and drapes really nicely. This pattern definitely calls for a good, high quality yarn; regular acrylic would be much too stiff.
Here’s the pattern for my version of the Condo Sweater:
Yarn: 200g Pima Nebla baby alpaca by Diamond Luxury Collection in Willow.
Yarn weight: DK / 8 ply
Needle size: 5mm (US 8) and 10mm (US 15)
Garment sizing: Small: 32-34″ bust; Medium: 36-38″ bust; Large: 40-42″ bust
Using smaller needles, cast on 64 (68, 72) stitches.
Knit in K1, P1 ribbing for 2″.
Decrease 9 stitches evenly on the last row.
Change to larger needles. Knit K1, P1 (seed stitch) until garment measures 19″ from the bottom edge, or desired length. Cast off loosely.
Work same as front.
Sew the front and back pieces together at the shoulder seams, leaving enough room to comfortably pull the garment over your head (sew about 15 stitches together on each shoulder).
With right sides facing and using the smaller needles, pick up and knit 30 (32, 34) stitches along each shoulder edge so you have a total of 60 (64, 68) stitches making up each sleeve edge.
Knit in K1, P1 ribbing for 8 rows, or desired length. Cast off loosely and repeat on other shoulder. Stitch side seams together.