A Good substitute but will it be a good substitute?
This yarn is Good. In arriving with me it has generated a wonderfully tiny carbon footprint, it comes from an independent business with aims and policies that I fully support and I feel a little reflected glow of Goodliness about using it and pleasure that I put my money where my heart is.
I'm also a little concerned though. It's rather delumptiously woolly and rugged feeling, traits I admire and covet in yarns for certain items but I'm making a cowl with it. A snuggly next to the tender underchin skin gift of a cowl. Hmmm understand my concern?
I went for the 50/50 wool and alpaca blend as I'm using it in place of the 50/50 wool and alpaca Blue Sky Alpacas bulky yarn. I was intent on using that yarn as that is what the pattern is written for and I had a specific request for this precise cowl. My Auntie picked it from the book she kindly gave me last Christmas. I love gift knitting when I know it will be appreciated so I was really focusing on getting it exactly as the picture looked. I'm normally quite brave about substituting though very often it's because I'm looking to save some pennies and so they aren't always the most conscientious of purchases. I was searching online for UK suppliers of the Blue Skys when I read some of the comments that accompanied the gifting of the pattern to Guardian online readers to celebrate UK Wool week (in summary nice idea but an interesting choice of pattern given the US yarn it's written for). So as I was committed to the spends and over my normal cost hurdle for maximising my conscientious consumer credentials it made sense to me to substitute for a similar cost UK yarn of the right colour and composition.
I fear my desire to re-create what my Auntie saw may have gone a bit awry; at the end of the day she wants a chunky grey cowl. She's not a knitter and is not concerned about having a wool/alpaca blend. I could have opted for the 100% alpaca got the same Goodly buzz and it would likely have been a lot softer. My one saving hope is that I asked the shop if this was suitable substitute and they agreed it was so perhaps it will wash up much softer?