Have you considered the "Homespun" from Lions Brand? I am a admitted novice but I came across this yarn at Tuesday Morning when I went there for the NeedleMasters on sale last month. It just so happened I was looking for yarn for my first shawl(the easy triangle, my 1st big project), and at $2.50(normally $5.99) a skein for the discontinued color(sandstone) I couldn't go wrong. I am about haft way through, and and I've had friends ask where I got my alpaca yarn, I had to show one of them the label to convince her it was acrylic. I liked the way it looked and felt so much that I bought all 12 skeins they had so I could knit a lap robe to match the shawl I knitting now. It is fluffy, and light, and very soft against my skin, and since I have very(!) sensitive skin that is high praise.