Friday, 8 May 2015

Drops Alpaca Review

When we closed NDS I was suddenly left without a yarn supply, which was the worst nightmare I could imagine as a designer,
I've always been able to dye the exact colour I needed to use, which made choosing colours easy.
I was left stranded without my colours and without my yarn, most of my indie dyer friends use my main supplier Chester Wool, so some of them have "my yarn". 
Sadly because they are indie dyers most of their colours are one-offs, so even though I can recommend them as dyer's they don't always have the colours I/you need
I have added them and their yarns to my "Recommended Yarns" page, so go and check them out if you want to buy an extra special skein/s to add to your collection.
(I will be adding more commercial yarns and indie dyers and their yarns to the list as I test them)

Anyway back to my worst nightmare.
Within day's of my worst nightmare coming true, I was offered the opportunity to solve it.
The lovely people from asked me to work with them on some future projects, this meant I had a whole world of new yarns to discover and so my search for NDS replacements began.

Drops Alpaca is my first discovery.
It is at the budget end of the price range, and being used to only ever using luxury yarn I didn't really expect to like it very much.
So I started of with testing a couple of balls, using it with my NDS yarns in the book blanket I am working on at the moment.
I was completely shocked and surprised as to how nice it was and how well it worked with my NDS yarns.
And even better it came in a range of subtle colours, that would blend with my NDS colours.
As to be expected its not as soft as the luxury alpaca's, but its still soft and cuddly and has the tell tale fuzzy aura that makes alpaca special.
Its gentle on your hands and just generally lovely to work with.
Even though its a different yarn base you can use it as a replacement for the following NDS 4 ply yarns
Phoenix 4 ply (50% merino/50% silk), Angelus (70% Alpaca/20% silk/10% cashmere) Godiva HT (100% merino) and Godiva Silk. (70% merino/30% silk)

The above photo is of my Drops Alpaca colour wheel so far, I've only got 11 colours so I have one missing. 
My real only criticism is that the colour range is missing a proper green.
Obviously I will need to "test" a few more potentials to find the missing colour, maybe teal or dark turquoise which shouldn't be too much of a hardship for me :-)
Even better Drops Alpaca is on special offer at the moment (£1.85 for 50 gms, normal price £2.90 per 50 gms) which gives you the perfect time to stock up on lots and lots of lovely yarn.

Here is the list of colours in my wheel, starting with the dark blue at the top and working clockwise.
Dark Blue - 6790
Olive - 7233
Dark Lime - 2916
Goldenrod - 2923
Orange - 2915
Deep Pink - 2922
Pink - 2921
Dark Pink - 3770
Old Pink - 3800
Purple Violet - 4434
Grey Purple - 6347


  1. green seems to be tricky with lots of companies- from style craft to artesano and including drops- is it something to do with the dyeing or is it just out of style? i also find the same prob with oranges- they're either rust,or peach or neon- why doesn't anyone do a clear colour of an orange ,orange?
    I'm wondering why you haven't got the drops red in your colour wheel-

    1. That's interesting, a proper green was always difficult with natural dyes, I didn't realise commercial dyers had a problem with green.
      The Drops red is missing as it's just too bright for my colour wheel - I'm very fussy about colour :-)

  2. Great review and very helpful, thank you :-)
    I have found drops baby Alpaca Silk to be a lovely soft yarn also, but it is available only in 21 pale paste shades. I wish they would do more colours!

  3. Thanks for a great review, I'll keep my eye out for them x