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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Done With Shearing & Some of My "Stash"

Yes, shearing is done for another year!  Such a good feeling and so nice to see all those freshly shorn alpacas in the pastures. Here are most of the crias with their summer haircuts.  We just do a "barrel" cut on them to remove the damaged tips of their fleece so they will have a nicer fleece next year.  Otherwise, the tips are like a thousand split ends and everything sticks to it, making what would be a lovely fleece full of VM, which stands for vegetable matter, a processor's bane.

2 weeks ago I attended the fiber festival at Wooster.  I mentioned doing some shopping and believe it or not, some of the items I purchased were fiber.  Now, that may seem crazy since we just sheared almost 50 alpacas, but of course, there is always justification.  First, I purchased a lovely wool fleece with the intention of blending it with one of my alpaca fleeces and having a roving made.  Since I will be a vendor myself at a large fiber show this coming September, I need to have a nice selection of fibers for sale.  So, I will have 100% alpaca roving in natural colors as well as dyed.  I will have blends with alpaca and I will have yarns.  

Some of the fibers I have that I have blended with alpaca in the past and will blend with alpaca in the future are in my "stash".  Most fiber enthusiasts and quilters and probably other hobbyists have a stash.  These are fibers or fabrics or yarns that you have squirreled away with some future purpose in mind, or else it was something you saw and just HAD to have and a use will come along someday.


angora bunny
angora bunny




I have  Angora bunny in 2 colors:  white and grey.  SO soft and fluffy.  







shiny silk!
I have silk.  I made a gorgeous sweater out of a hand spun 50/50 alpaca and silk yarn that I then dyed.






I have  Camel.  Yup, camel.  Just a small amount that was given to me in a fiber exchange. 

Camel








I have grey mohair, which comes from an angora goat (not to be confused with angora bunny)
Grey mohair











I have dyed mohair (I purchased it this way and actually blended it with a grey alpaca and made a beautiful yarn):

Dyed Mohair












And I also have different types of wool:
Jacob wool (brown and white spots)







Shetland wool



Somewhere at home I also have a small amount of cashmere, but I must have put it away because I cannot find it!

This is only a part of the wonderful things I have hidden away in my "stash"!

I also purchased some wool roving at the festival, just because it was pretty and it caught my eye.  I have spun up about 1/2 of it and here is how it looks so far on my wheel.

 
Once I spin the other half, I will ply it into a 2-ply yarn and then spend some time admiring it and wondering what it will become at some point in the future.  I love the colors.

In other news around the farm, I pick up my chickens tomorrow.  So I spent most of Monday (the weather was incredibly wonderful) putting up a fence around the chicken coop.  We plan to let them free range but at first they need to learn where home is and it will be good to be able to keep them penned if necessary.  


We also have house guests coming in for the weekend to attend a reunion of Sam's mother's side of the family which will be Saturday.  To Sam, these are cousin's kids and their kids.  We have never met.  I hope they don't mind spending the weekend on the alpaca farm. 

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