|Me "roping" an Alpaca's legs|
|shearers working on front legs|
|Show Blanket Fleece|
|This one was quite rowdy|
|Getting his teeth filed|
|Nails being clipped|
|my new cell phone|
Several weeks ago I was given a brochure by my pastor's wife about shares for Alpaca yarn from this years shearing at a local farm. As a result of getting this brochure I have made a new friend, Kate Brown. She is the owner of Beech Springs Alpacas, just outside of Ahoskie, NC. I took my family for a visit, which I blogged about just a few weeks ago. Kate had her annual shearing yesterday, and invited me to come and participate. The shearers came from Indiana, and it seems travel a total of 15,000 miles during a season. They make appointments and map out their route, a large loop it seems that takes them from farm to farm until they get back home. They started shearing about 7:45 yesterday morning and finished at 3 yesterday afternoon. To get the Alpacas ready to be shorn, this is where all the other hands are needed. I discovered yesterday that the animals must be stretched out with cords, to avoid clipping injuries, prevent flailing (which could injure the animal or helper), and allow the shearers to clip nails and file teeth if necessary. I helped with putting on the cords and pulling the ropes yesterday. It was not hard work but, I am a little sore today. My wife and children came out for a couple of hours and watched the whole process. My daughter was fascinated and ended up staying through the afternoon. She took lots of pictures with her own digital camera. She has a bag of Alpaca fleece to take to school with her pictures for show and tell. My wife and I, sometime in the near future, will have our own show and tell of 6 hanks of alpaca sportweight yarn, our share in this year's shearing. I can't wait to see what we get!
So excited about this fiber life I am living. It gives me great satisfaction to share it with my family and friends. I promised a free pattern and I am working on it. I made a cell phone holder earlier this week. I used some leftover acrylic and it is beautiful to look at but not very sturdy. So I am working one up to felt. As soon as it is finished and written I will post the free pattern. Look for it later this week. I will also be posting a new coffee cozy pattern, this one is felted, after the knitting retreat.