A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 16, 2008

Well Isn’t That Pretty

Blast's Fleece

Blast's Fleece

The last couple of days I have been busy preparing a couple of fleeces for the Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA) Continental Fleece Show which is to be held in Denver, Colorado on August 2 and 3.


I enjoy entering the AFCNA Show, it is a big show with good competition and included in the price of the entry fee is a DVD of all of the seminars given at the show, plus the judges’ oral reasons on the winning fleeces for each class.  It is so nice to “take part” in the seminars at your leisure at home, how many seminars have you attended in the past where you later wish you could repeat or re-hear part or all of the seminar.  Well with the AFCNA show seminars being recorded and sent out on DVD after the show you can repeat all or part of the seminar as you need.   It is also great to see the judges’ oral reasons on the winning fleeces, especially if your fleece is one of those winners; it gives you feedback which is accessible time and again.    My experience at shows is that usually you are so busy with the show itself that you do not get time to attend the seminars, if you are showing alpacas and win you hear the judges comments at the time of your class, but it is so easy to forget the exact words used and sometimes the PA system at the show grounds means that all you hear is a garbled noise.  With the AFCNA show the judges comments are available to you at your convenience – isn’t that a nice luxury.


I am sending in the fleeces of our young male Windrush White Blast, who is out of our dam Clarissa and a herdsire from Texas called FRA Lucero.  I have been really pleased with Blast and when we sheared him his fleece was so beautiful I knew it was a definite candidate for a show.  No doubt Blast’s fleece will be in a large highly competitive class, but I feel it is good enough to stand up to the competition.  Just look at it in the picture at the beginning of this blog entry, it is beautiful, bright and shiny with a consistent high frequency crimp – such a pretty fleece and I am sure it will catch the judges attention.


Also being sent off to the show is the fleece from our young female Windrush Zindel’s Velvet Princess.  Velvet is the first offspring from our herdsire Windrush Jennifer’s Zindel and she has a unique velvety handle to her fleece.  Velvet’s fleece has a higher frequency crimp than Blast’s but lower amplitude of crimp.  Two very different fleece styles but each beautiful in its own right.

Velvet's Beautiful Fleece

Velvet's Beautiful Fleece


So I will finish preparing the fleeces and send them on their way to the show later this week.  Fingers crossed they will win some nice ribbons, and even if they don’t at least I will get some education and fun from watching the show DVD’s.




  1. Absolutely beautiful fleeces! How did you get such a good picture of them? What kind of camera do you have – it shows the brightness so well? Good luck at the show!

    Comment by Leigh — July 16, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  2. Hi Leigh,

    I think my pictures are more good luck than skilled photography! The pictures used in the blog were taken on the skirting table, which is much easier to get into good light than when trying to photograph fleeces still on the alpaca. I have tried putting an Ott light over the skirting table to provide better light, but sometimes that is almost too much light and the flash bounces back to the lens too much. I think finding the right distance between fleece and lens is a big part of the formula, too close and you get a picture that looks almost overexposed, too distant and you cannot see the fleece detail. My camera is a Kodak Easy Share C653, which is very simple to use and has lots of settings you can use (turn the dial to the setting, point and click). The only complaint I would have about it is that the resolution of the photos is not really good enough to use in print ads. I keep trying to find out how to improve the resolution settings but have not discovered how to do that yet, it may not be possible on that camera.

    The fleeces were ones from our alpacas that had been wearing the sheep covers at least some of the time, the difference between the ones that had covers and those that were not wearing the covers is night and day. Of course good nutrition and genetics has played a big part too.


    Comment by alpacalady — July 16, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  3. I would say you definitely used the macro setting to get a good closeup of that beautiful fleece. Wow!! Lovely. Velvet’s beautiful fleece reminded me of the soft swirl of chocolate icing (LOL okay I guess my diet is showing in my still craving chocolate)

    Comment by Kelly L — July 18, 2008 @ 12:32 am

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