Knitted blankets (Charity Knitting)

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Purl Alpaca Designs Workshop

On 21st March I attended an alpaca workshop at Purl Alpaca Designs, Dry Drayton, near Cambridge. It was a wonderful day! There were few enough participants so that we all received individual attention.

The day started with coffee and home-made biscuits. We were then let loose to look at and try on ready made garments, feel the yarn and to choose the patterns and yarn we wanted (cost included in the fee unless more yarn required). What bliss! The yarns are all natural colours but a good if limited choice. I chose the grey because it toned well with the navy or black skirts I always wear for most of the year.

I chose the Allegra design for two reasons: firstly, it would flatter-my-figure, and secondly, it is a garment that I would wear often. Now whether you construe ‘flatter’ as meaning slimmer or ‘flatter’ as meaning to suit or hide the lumps and bumps is your choice.

While we knitted our tension swatches we were given a very interesting talk about alpacas, including their place in history and their husbandry. This was followed by a visit to see the animals themselves and to feed them. My, do they like apples! After initial nervousness and much coaxing, all came to us strangers for their treats.

Then lunch time of home-made food and plenty of it. Vegetarians catered for. By this time everyone had made friends with everyone else and we all got on well together. After lunch, back to the studio for more knitting, more natter, and more nosh – this time home made cakes.

All too soon it was time for home but everyone had had the most enjoyable day and went away full of inspiration, new knowledge and new knitting pals.

I had always wanted to work with alpaca yarn and this workshop was an opportunity, which turned out to be a golden one. It was fairly close to my home but a first class map and directions were supplied anyway. For what was provided, the cost was reasonable. It was a treat to actually be able to walk among the animals. Although there are fields of alpacas just a mile or so away from my home, access is not possible and I would never ever contemplate trying to reach the animals without permission (and I don’t know who they belong to). However, it’s a pleasure just to sometimes stand and look over the fence.

Thank you Purl Alpaca Designs.


  1. I think, you enjoyed a lot on that day. I too got an opportunity to attend, but unfortunately I missed. I collected all the information I needed and missed. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    alpaca clothing

  2. Hello Richard

    Your comment was waiting for me to read yesterday - when I returned from another Purl Alpaca Designs workshop. Again it was a super day with good company, good food, and a lot done. The new season's patterns are beautiful. This time there was a male knitter (Andrew) and a male chef (Abdul).

    You must go to the next workshop, or the next one you can manage. You won't regret it.

  3. Hi Pauline

    This is my first comment on any blog ever! This is a lovely write-up, thank you so much. I'll be in touch again soon, but in the meantime,

    Love and Best wishes

    Tracy Birch


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