A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 8, 2008

An Early Start

It’s an early start for me this morning as I am taking part in a Spring Arts and Craft Fair at the Clovis Convention Center.  The Craft Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 pm today and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow.  The reason for my early start is that I have to be at the Convention Center to set up by 7 a.m. – looks like Ric will be doing most of the chores today.

Yesterday was spent putting together signs for my booth at the Craft Fair, gathering product and marketing pieces and loading everything up to be ready to go first thing in the morning.  I am sure I have forgotten something but if so I will have to call Ric once I have set up and see if he can run it out to me.

It’s always interesting the first day of a new event, while I have a brief description of what will be provided at my booth you never really can tell how to set up the products until you get to the event.   I have a good selection of socks, scarves, glittens and yarn to sell and hope everyone coming to the event will be in the mood to buy.  The weather is supposed to be warm and spring like, but in a way I would like it to be a little chilly to encourage people to buy socks, scarves and glittens!

Hopefully the event will be well attended.  It has been advertised well on the radio and in the local paper.  I have been to some events when the only people in attendance have been the other vendors, but I get the feeling that this one will bring in a good crowd.

It will be fun getting to know the other vendors at the event and getting to see what they have to offer for sale, it is amazing how creative some people are.   Usually event vendors are a friendly bunch and by the end of the event we all know each other better.

Tomorrow of course our clocks Spring Forward as we enter Daylight Saving Time – lets hope that I remember to put the clocks forward after a long day at the craft fair! Rosemary

November 20, 2007

Cold Feet? Warm Socks!

Windrush Alpaca SocksIt’s hard to believe it is the middle of November; our daytime high for yesterday was 81 degrees, which even for us is much higher than usual.  According to the weatherman though we are in for a drastic change as a cold front rolls into the area causing our daytime temperatures to fall into the 40’s and 50’s – that’s going to be a shock to the system.  The weather then will continue to deteriorate with a chance of rain and snow from Thursday onwards!  How strange that is, to go from 80 plus degrees and sun to 40’s and snow all within a matter of a few days, but that is often the way here on the high plains of New Mexico.

We will need to be prepared to help the alpacas through the sudden change in the weather; a dramatic drop in temperature can put their systems under considerable strain.  To help the alpacas cope with the temperature change we will make sure they have a nice layer of bedding in their shelters.   During evening chores we will put most of the hay in the feeders inside the shelters and only a little in the outside feeders to encourage them to go in for the evening.  We don’t lock our alpacas up in shelters overnight (unless we have one that is sick and needs protection from the elements), but we do allow them to roam into the shelters as and when they please.  If the weather is cold I can guarantee we will find alpacas in the shelters, they will sit together as a group out of the wind and cold, and just that action will provide some additional warmth for them.

We often have visitors ask how the alpacas cope with the cold and are pleased to be able to tell them that the alpacas do very well.  As long as they have available shelter from the elements, good hay to eat and water to drink (thank goodness for heated automatic waterers) they really do very well.  Of course if we have a significant accumulation of snow we have to make paths in the snow to allow the alpacas to roam around the pastures

As for the humans at our place, well they will get to don warmer clothes when doing chores.  Our chores clothes range from a t-shirt and shorts in the summer to heavy insulated coveralls for the thick of winter – and then there are the socks.

For the cooler months both Ric and I will don a pair of alpaca socks, made from the fleece of our own alpacas.  We had our first batch of socks made about four years ago and they are always a firm favorite with our retail clients.  It’s pretty neat too to have something made from the fleece of our very own alpaca herd.

What I really like about alpaca socks is that they are warm to your feet the instant you put them on, no waiting for the material to warm just instant warmth.  With alpaca being a natural fiber the alpaca socks are breathable and then there are the additional qualities of alpaca fiber such as excellent moisture wicking properties, stain resistance, odor resistance and fire resistance, all good qualities for a hard working sock to have.

In addition to the socks made with fiber solely from our herd we also now stock socks from the Alpaca Fiber Coop of North America (AFCNA).  The Co-op socks may still contain some of our alpaca fiber, as Coop members we pool some of our fiber into the AFCNA pool.  The outside of the AFCNA sock is less fluffy to the touch than that of our herd socks but they have a terry style lining which makes for a lovely, soft cushioned bed for your foot and the tighter knit makes them a little more durable and therefore a better work sock.

The socks make a unique and useful Christmas gift suiting a wide range of people from home bodies who always have cold feet to those who work outside on a regular basis and need to ensure their warmth and comfort while at work. 

As the holiday season continues we anticipate that our sock sales will increase, especially if our weather does take a cold turn.  So if you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift or two then drop us a line and we can tell you more about the socks we have available for sale – you’d better be quick though as we expect them to sell out early!

Rosemary 

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