Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Field Trip

Saturday, we had a chance to visit Rocking L Alpacas farm on shearing day. It was really neat for the girls to see how the alpacas are sheared, and they were each given a little baggie with some fleece and a picture of the alpacas. I was impressed to find out the fleece from each alpaca is kept separate and the owner can tell you which alpaca a certain skein of yarn came from.

When we got there, they already had one alpaca down on the mat. They keep the fleece from different areas of the body separate. I believe that's to keep the different lengths separate. The alpaca was completely calm and just laying there (her legs are tied to keep her from jumping up, but she wasn't fighting that at all)
After the fleece from each section was sheared, it was passed off to these ladies, who laid it out on a chicken wire screen and picked out any pieces of hay that were stuck in it and put it in those bags stuck to the fence, which were labeled with the alapaca's name and the different areas of the body the fleece came from

Later on, most of that fleece will be spun into yarn
And a newly naked alpaca will return to the field

And a new alpaca will come in for shearing. If I remember correctly, they will spend 3-4 days shearing all the alpacas on the farm.

After watching for a bit, we went to check out the little shop (these people also sell at the local farmer's market)

When I was searching online to find out if Rocking L had a website (they don't), I found out there will be a fiber show in town at the beginning of June. They will have workshops and one is drop spindle for beginners. Since one of my 101 in 1001 goals is to try to make yarn, I'm thinking about signing up. It's very much outside my comfort zone to walk into a class like that by myself where I don't know anyone or the first thing about the topic, but it's something I've wanted to try ever since I saw it at the homestead fair back in Texas a few years ago.

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