A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

May 26, 2007

Home Again From Another Fiber Adventure

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Fiber, Alpacas, camelids, General — alpacalady @ 7:00 am

The blog was quiet for the last couple of days as I was away from home and unable to get Internet access.  Actually the Internet access was available but for some reason my Norton Internet Security on my laptop keeps telling me my subscription has expired and only has 357 days left – go figure!  That statement makes no sense to me at all, but I was concerned that I my computer could be affected if I went on line without sufficient protection.

Following chores on Wednesday afternoon I traveled up to Los Lunas, New Mexico to take the opportunity to watch Robyn Kuhl from Coarse Broads, Inc.  sort and grade fiber at a shearing day.  I was also able to take nine of our fleeces with me to have sorted and graded by Robyn.

The shearing I attended was at Sundancer Alpacas the home of Cheryl and Robert Louie.  I was able to observe Robyn sort and grade three of my fleeces before Peter Connelly the shearer arrived to start shearing Cheryl and Robert’s alpacas.  Being able to watch Robyn at work helped solidify everything she and Carrie Hull had taught at the recent Fiber Sorting seminar I attended.  You really have to leave your emotions at home when you watch your lovely alpaca fleeces being split up into the various grades, but it is necessary to ensure a better quality end product and the process also gave me valuable feedback as to the positive and negative traits of each fleece, which will help me with future breeding decisions.

Once Peter started shearing it was all hands on deck to collect the fleece using Robyn’s methods, weigh the fleece and record the weights and then get the fleece to Robyn to sort and grade. 

I was able to stay until 5 p.m. and then had to tear myself away from my learning experience to start the four hour drive home.   

On my drive to Los Lunas on Wednesday I had travelled up through Albuquerque and then down I25 to Los Lunas.  I had wanted to try using a more southern route but by the time I left home on Wednesday it was 6 p.m. and I didn’t want to be travelling on remote and unfamiliar roads by myself after dark.  On the journey home though I used the southern route starting on I 25 and then heading east on US 60.  I was able to see some beautiful countryside, and along the way saw some antelope, hawks and even a couple of foxes.  There are very few towns along the route and I found myself having admiration for those hardy folk who live in that part of the state.  With all the snow in New Mexico this past winter life in those sparsly populated areas had to have been a challenge. 

So I am now back at home playing the usual game of catch up having been away, but the good news is that Ric was able to get the rest of our herd shorn while I was gone.  Shearing is finally over!


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