***A note on colors: all colors except Blue Jay, Herbalist, and Rock Garden are shown on Aurora DK (these three colors are currently shown on Eco Merino Light). Variation is normal in hand dyed yarn and a part of its beauty, and the same color will appear different on different fibers, different monitors, and in different light. When possible we recommend buying yarn in person, but if your local yarn shop doesn't carry our yarn rest assured - we offer free returns within 30 days of delivery, so there's no risk to trying something new!***
Aurora DK absolutely glows. This softly spun single-ply yarn combines the best properties of each of its fibers: the drape, warmth, and sheen of alpaca; the memory and loft of merino; and the luster and smoothness of silk. The delightful softness, beautiful drape, and radiant appearance make it impossible to resist. It's a fantastic choice for gift-making, or to treat yourself. Because of its softly spun structure, it is not recommended for very open or loose stitch patterns (e.g. knitted lace or dropped-stitch patterns).
40% superfine alpaca, 40% merino wool, 20% silk
Yardage and Weight
252 yds (230 m), 100 g (3.5 oz)
Hand wash cold, dry flat
Fall, winter, spring
Cozy, luxurious shawls, scarves, and cowls
Plain stitches, colorwork, cables, textured stitches
About This Base's Sustainability
Alpaca is, in many ways, the most eco-friendly animal fiber. The vast majority of alpacas continue to be raised in their native habitat, where they free-range and coexist very well with the environment. Alpacas are efficient eaters who don't destroy a plant's root system when they eat, allowing plants to regrow. Their soft, padded feet don't degrade the land around them, as hooves frequently do. The lack of lanolin in their fiber makes cleaning the shorn fiber quicker and easier, resulting in less water and fewer cleaning agents needed as compared to other wools. Each animal produces far more fiber than a cashmere-producing goat or even a sheep, and uses fewer resources to make it. Most alpaca fiber comes from smallholders, providing a highly important source of income to families in the Andean highlands. Even alpaca manure is useful - alpacas tend to pick an area to serve as their latrine, making it easy to harvest their droppings as fertilizer and keeping other areas clean.
The merino used in this yarn comes from Peru, where mulesing is not practiced. It is also not superwashed, making it far more environmentally friendly than most merino yarn. Like all sheep's wool it is less environmentally friendly than alpaca due to the damage sheep cause to the land via their hooves and grazing habits.
Data on silk is mixed and complex, but compared to similar fibers (rayon, Tencel, lyocell, polyester, etc.) silk tends to use more water and slightly more energy to produce. On the other hand, silk comes out significantly ahead in land use (using marginal land not fit for other crops), toxic chemical use, circularity of production (the byproducts from silk production are useful, and end up reintegrated into the local ecosystem), and (specifically as compared to petroleum-derived products like polyester and nylon) its ability to biodegrade/compost. Silk also offers a superior level of performance if looking for breathability, strength, sheen, thermoregulation, hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, stain and odor resistance, and (especially important for our purposes) the ability to hold a block like nothing else, all in one fiber.
Like all of our yarns, it is dyed sustainably in our studio with organic-standards-compliant dyes and minimal waste production, and is biodegradable and compostable.