At just about the same time last year (2008), I was putting the finishing touches on my 'Rhinebeck' sweater - the fabulous "Wisteria" designed by Kate Gilbert and available at http://www.twistcollective.com/
I love, love, love this sweater. It fits. It's comfortable. It knit up so quickly that I was amazed. The yarn I used, Steadfast Fibers Wonderful Wool in 'Columbine,' is an Aran weight, so the sweater is a little denser, which made all the difference between warm and cold at Rhinebeck, because it was a chilly, windy weekend. I also fell in love with what I considered the opalescent qualities of the color, and kept going back to Windsor Button Shop in Boston and buying a skein or two at a time, until I saw Wisteria on the Twist Collective website, and I knew immediately, what I had been buying the yarn for!
I must admit that I enjoyed all the nice comments about the sweater that I got, and I was thrilled to run into Kate Gilbert wearing her Wisteria, not once, but twice!
Now it's 2009, and I have a new 'Rhinebeck' sweater. This one is a stranded pattern based on Andean motifs, and knit in Plymouth Paca Tweed. It is a sample knit for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book, "Ethnic Knitting Discoveries." She provides the ethnic motifs and worksheets and then the reader gets to design their own sweater! It works! Really well. The sweater is steeked at the neck and armholes. I was a little concerned about alpaca being a little more slippery than wool, so before I sewed and cut the steeks, I hand-felted them a little. I had no problem with the steeks or with picking up stitches for the armhole and around the neck.
Once again I happily report that the sweater fits nicely (I am very short-waisted), is extremely comfortable, and since the weather report for the weekend sounds like it will be even colder, and perhaps wetter, than last year, I'll let you know how well a double layer of alpaca works.