Friday, May 27, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday - Alpaca is not boring!

I am finding that many people are complaining about natural colors vs. lots of color. What I have read lately on sites I frequent is that brown, fawn or black is plain boring and without pizazz! Au contraire mes amies. I have been drum carding a few alpaca pouffes (mini batts) on my Louet Jr. drum carder. Of course, blending with natural alpaca. First I decide what gorgeous natural color of alpaca + hand dyed alpaca to mix together and then I just grab some corresponding angelina (I have a tons of bling). I purchased a bag of mixed fiber from Yarn Hollow a while back and I pull out some bits of silk noil, banana silk, merino, and so on in multicolors and weigh it all on a scale. I can get about 1 oz on my carder comfortably. Then I just begin to card it. I end up with 3 mini batts for a total of 3 oz for a package at my Etsy store. Each one is slightly different in that I don't feed the fiber in the carder exactly in the same pattern each time. So one pouffe might have more blue or green in the center while the second has more brown in the center. I like it this way, sort of a three way batt experience. I can pull off the batts in strips and spin as I want...far more interesting yarn. And although there is one or more of the 22 colors alpacas provide for us is is far from boring or pizzazzless!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fiber Arts and Farm Friend Friday-Showing my Pacas

The past two weeks have been filled with alpaca activities. I traveled to the Michigan Breeder's Show in Davisburg on May 5-8. I took 5 of my pacas. It is was a huge learning curve and so much fun. I met amazing people and had a wonderful time in the show ring. I went by myself and Ashton Stone Farms trailered my animals and helped me with getting my huge panels set up for the pens. I was a nervous wreck before the show. I had spent a fair amount of time worrying about halter training. Mostly because they were so naughty at home. Once in Davisburg, my guys behaved beautifully. It is interesting that alpacas can give you a hard time at home on the lead and at the show they march right along with you. Show offs! As for me, once the show started and it was time to enter the ring I felt absolutely calm and was able to enjoy every minute of it.
Here are a few photos of me in the ring. I received a couple of seconds, a third and a fourth place. Typically my animals were younger than most and some still had cria fleeces. I figured out it is better to wait to take them until they are older. Overall I feel it was a successful venture and am so glad I went.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fiber Wordless Wednesday-Shedding Season

Tis the season of shedding. Hair is everywhere. Whenever I pick up TomTom I am covered in gray fuzz. The minis, the goats, the cats, the bunnies are all hairy messes. Thankfully alpacas do not shed! And no I am not planning on spinning any of TomTom's fur.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fiber Market Monday Orange Smash

As spring rolls in so does my need for color. Instead of the monotone hues of winter I am pining for bright, fresh, bursting color. This orange smash 100% skein of alpaca is loaded with pizzaz. It reminds me of summer in full heat and the colorful cosmos springing up in my garden. At 110 yards it is perfect to knit up a thin scarf to wrap around your neck or some wrislets with a lace edge in a complementing color..yellow. Whatever ever the finished project, it is sure to be a smashing success! Check out my Etsy store for more information.