Herriot ... go ahead, treat yourself!
This lovely 100% baby alpaca yarn knits at 4.75-5 sts/in on US 7.
This yarn is SO lovely to the touch. And it is available in 10 natural colors of alpaca, PLUS, 8 beautiful heathers! So you have the opportunity for some gorgeous colorwork with it. And the pattern book supporting this yarn does just that....gives you opportunity for some gorgeous colorwork.
From a sweet dress to a knockout pullover, traditional fair-isle garments to a very modern wrap.....there are only 2 patterns in the book that I wouldn't bother with myself. Be sure to enlarge the photos below for a closer look. The cowl shown below uses a total of 3 sks. Of course, in order to get all the color variation in it, the one shown required 8 sks. But with 8 sks I am also making the mittens and the tam....and I'm sure I'll have enough left still for another couple of hats....I'll keep you posted.
The hat I just finished (not yet even blocked!) fits perfectly and is so soft and warm. I'll enjoy wearing it this winter. I followed the directions for the tam as shown in the pattern book and it came out a perfect toque! I have the right gauge and I did all the increases and decreases as per the pattern so I think there's a problem with the pattern. But I'm actually happier about it being a toque, since I wear that style more often anyway! I probably could block the beret shape out of it if I really wanted to, but I actually prefer it this way anyway.
So for those of you who like this yarn and find the multi color projects appealing, but cost prohibitive....here's some analysis. So I opened 7 skeins or $140 worth of yarn. I've knit the cowl (which could easily be narrowed in half so you could get 2 out of the same amount of yarn) and the hat and with what I have left over I could easily knit another cowl (which I would halve in size so I'd get 2 out of it) or I could knit 2 more hats and a pair of mittens (probably with a spare!). So if you are thinking about XMAS gifts and for $140 you could potentially get either 4 of these gorgeous cowls and a hat, or 2 of these cowls (at half width - remember it is still doubled!), plus 3 hats as shown below and a pair of mittens, that works out to either $28/gift or $23/gift. And these are really special gifts that would give you a lot of tactile pleasure while knitting!
Just 1 skein knits this fabulously warm and soft slouch hat shown below in color h2.
Featuring 218 yards, it is $19.99/sk