A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 16, 2008

Fall Feels Like Fiber (Arts that is)

 

I don’t know what it is about the fall but it always brings to me the urge to do more with fiber arts.  Perhaps it is the cooler temperatures and the thought of colder weather to come, but the last few days have found my mind drifting to thoughts of spinning, knitting and crochet.  I also think about weaving but Ric has put an embargo on any more fiber arts toys and as yet I don’t own a loom – one day though…

 

Fall in New Mexico is a golden time, the temperatures are a little cooler, the air is still (no Spring winds to contend with) and if we are lucky more moisture comes into the area.  Yesterday morning as I walked the dogs our winter wheat was glistening with dewdrops, one clear bead of dew on the tip of each wheat blade reflecting the rising sun.

 

By the evening the full moon was large and present, a Harvest Moon starting off as a huge red-tinged globe on the horizon and ending up as a bright, luminous, silver disc in the sky.  If you have never witnessed a full moon in clear, unlit skies you are definitely missing out on one of life’s treasures.  Perhaps it is the subtle light and colors of fall that also stir the desire for fiber arts.

 

I already have a commission order for a black cable knit hat, so that will satisfy some of the fiber art itch, and bring a little income too.  There are so many other projects that I can choose to work on after that but I think some spinning is going to take priority, and perhaps I will venture to do some blending of other fibers with the alpaca fiber this time, after all I still have a beautiful ball of silk in my fiber stash that is wasted just sitting in the closet.

 

As an alpaca breeder it’s not obligatory to enjoy the fiber arts but it sure does help.  While I have knitted and crocheted for years, I did not learn to spin until after we started our alpaca business.  Hand spinning has it’s differences from commercial spinning but I felt that it would be helpful for me to learn how it felt to spin alpaca, and the qualities of alpaca fleece that make it desirable.  Over time as you spin you start to appreciate how the different characteristics of the fleece such as fineness, consistency, crimp and cleanliness make a difference to the finished yarn.  Fiber is a tactile thing and you can learn so much from getting your hands on and working with different fleeces.

 

In the pasture the alpacas fleece is now getting some length to it, with most of them having a couple of inches or more of fleece length.  Periodically when one of the alpacas is feeling obliging I take a peek at how their fleece is looking and enjoy feeling the softness of their fiber on my fingers.  Yes, it’s definitely time to get that spinning wheel going, so on that note that’s what I’m off to do now!

 

Rosemary

September 29, 2007

National Alpaca Farm Day is Here!

Zeus Looking CuteWell today is the day, we have the grass mown, the place tidy (well as tidy as we ever get), the alpacas instructed to be on their best behavior, the cookies made and the alpaca products ready to sell – it’s National Alpaca Farm Day. 

Our radio interview at KTQM on Friday went well, with Ric discovering that the microphone is not going to bite him – a big thank you to Grant and Misty at KTQM for allowing us airtime to promote our event. 

We are not sure how many people will attend today, the nearby air force base has a major change of command ceremony on Monday (not just a change of Wing Commander but the mark of the beginning of a new mission for Cannon Air Force Base) and many people from the base are involved in the preparations for that, there is an ethnic fair being held in downtown Clovis and the wind is forecast to be blowing hard! 

Even prior to the event the publicity already gained for National Alpaca Farm Day has been great and can only have raised public awareness of alpacas.   Some alpacas appeared on the Today Show (go to http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/16487590/ to view the footage), the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association have run ads on both cable and satellite TV and numerous newspapers have published press releases about the event. 

Here at the farm little Zeus finally gained 0.5 lbs yesterday, now if we can only get him to repeat that gain today.  I have got to the point that I hold my breath as I stand on the scale with him and hope that his weight has gone up and not down.  I am not sure which of the steps that we took is working, but something appears to be so for now we will carry on with all that we are doing.  Carissima is still growing by leaps and bounds and is one of the sweetest crias you could wish to meet; she knows her name and comes running over when I call her in the pasture. 

Carissima and Zeus have been having fun in the evenings chasing each other around the pasture and they have been great entertainment as they frolic around under the soft light of the beautiful harvest moon we have had the last couple of days.  I tried to capture pictures of them in the moonlight, but my photography skills are not up to the challenge of moonlight and fast moving crias. 

Immediately after our Open House I will be heading to Shawnee, Oklahoma for the Compliance Check Class and to volunteer at the Judges Training Clinic.  It is about a seven hour drive to Oklahoma City, where I am going to stop for the night, and I am sure I am going to be glad to see the hotel room after the long drive.  I am not sure of the Internet access availability over the weekend so if the blog is quiet it means I am unable to get online.  Then again I might just turn the blog over to Ric for a couple of days and see what he can come up with! 

Rosemary 

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