Monday, August 23, 2010

In the heat of Summer!

I can't believe that it's nearly 3 months since we've sheared the alpacas! I know they are glad to be rid of all that fiber, but they still seem so hot. This is how they enjoy their summer afternoons.

Sometimes they aren't so lady-like and fight over who gets the spray. Even the babies seem to enjoy it on the really hot days.

Since it's getting to be time for the fall fiber shows, I have to get geared up to have the fleeces ready to go to the mills for processing. That involves sorting and dying the fleece. Each fleece takes up to an hour to sort. In sorting, we separate the best fleece from what we call 2nds or 3rds. The seconds are used in things like rugs and rug yarn or felted projects. Most of our 3rds this year went to A Matter of Trust to work on the almost impossible task of cleaning up the Gulf oil spill. Every little bit helps.

The prime blanket will be processed into either yarn or roving. Once all of the fleeces are sorted, we will put them together based on how similar they are. Sometime later in the fall or early winter, we will have lots and lots of yarn here to dye and get ready for the spring shows.

Take a look at what we've done with last year's clip in our Etsy Store.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Love those Babies!

Since our last post, we had our 2 anticipated crias for this spring. Eternity & Lili (mom and daughter) delivered baby boys a day apart in late June. Both girls were bred to fawn herdsires, so we were hoping to see a little color from these girls, but alas, both fellas turned out white - or maybe beige if I push it a little.

They look so much alike that we called them Fluffy and Curly because their fiber characteristics were different. These aren't their real names, but they work in a pinch. Just like the rest of the animals, we shear the spring babies so that they too can enjoy a little less fleece over the hot summer months. So after the curls and fluff were gone, all that was left to distinguish the boys was a tiny dark spot on Fluffy's lip.

Here's a short video showing how everyone likes to meet the new babies.

Both boys are growing well and are learning all about things like halters and leading thanks to Anna, my super-duper 4H helper. She's been putting halters on the babies and "leading" them around a bit. Leading isn't exactly what I'd call it, but she does a great job with them.

Anna comes almost every morning to help with the feeding and to work with her 4H alpaca Sea Splash.
Here's Anna at a 4H meeting dressing up Splash in preparation for the 4H Fair and show next week. The 4Her's will show their alpacas over obstacles, in Showmanship and even in a costume class. If you'd like to attend, it is at the 4H center on Stoverstown Rd at 7pm on Thursday August 12th.

If you think your kids would be interested in working with the alpacas in 4H, just drop me a line. We'd love to have them join us!

Hope to see you there!