It's been five years since Purl's owner, Joelle Hoverson, published her first book, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Since then it has become a modern classic in today's knitting world, joining with other books to bring the craft of knitting from the dark ages of garments that seemed to come from a parallel fashion universe to the present day of beautiful, elegant hand knits.

Every day customers come into Purl, dog-eared copy of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts under arm, wanting to replicate their favorite projects. Over the past five years, however, some of Joelle's original yarn recommendations are no longer available.  At Purl we always have to be ready to suggest new, equally exciting alternatives.

One common request is for the yarn to make the Men's Rustic Scarf, a ruggedly masculine scarf perfect for all the men in our lives. Rowan no longer makes the Yorkshire Tweed Chunky that first gave the scarf its distinctive flair, so we decided to update the pattern here with a new, beautiful Blue Sky Alpacas version.

For two of the colors we used Blue Sky's Worsted and for the third we used Blue Sky's Sportweight Alpaca doubled. Both yarns are incredibly soft, which in our experience is the number one concern when it comes to knitting for men (it's true!). The textural shift between the different yarns adds a subtle layer of interest to the scarf, and the drape of alpaca gives this version a gorgeous heft.

I don't necessarily want to say that this scarf is better than the original, but it's definitely a close call! --Whitney

The Materials

Version One

  • 2 skeins (one each in two colors) of Blue Sky Alpaca's Worsted, 50% superfine alpaca, 50% merino wool. These colors are, from the left, Chocolate 2016 and Tan 2009.
  • 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca's Sportweight Alpaca (Melange or Solid), 100% baby alpaca. This color is a Solid and is Scarlet 518. (Make sure to double this yarn so it is the same weight as the Worsted.

 

Version Two

  • 2 skeins (one each in two colors) of Blue Sky Alpaca's Worsted, 50% superfine alpaca, 50% merino wool. These colors are, from the left, Olive 2014 and Butter 2005.
  • 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca's Sportweight Alpaca (Melange or Solid), 100% baby alpaca. This color is a Melange and is Dijon 807. (Make sure to double this yarn so it is the same weight as the Worsted.