Felted Alpaca Treasure Nest

Birdsnest

There in the field was a little treasure. Adorning the green, green grass of spring, was this beautiful bright blue birds’ nest. It had fallen from its lofty throne, sometime during the winter months when the last of the winds blew the last leaf off the bare branches, leaving only silhouettes of trees. I thought about that little nest as I picked it up. It was so beautiful. It had been carefully and thoughtfully constructed by a master at the art of recycling! The main part of this blue nest was an old tarp that had been covering some wood.  This little bird had used the blue tarp as her main weaving material. And then there was a fishing string found from a nearby brook. And then I saw the ribbon; it was the ribbon from a child’s balloon. I imagined that perhaps it was a child who’d had a special day. The balloon had floated away as the child watched, soothed by loved ones with gentle words, and a hug that the balloon would find a happy home.

pacanestLittle did they know that the ribbon would weave a home, safe from winds and storms and give a family a chance to soar.  As I held this tiny little nest in my hands, I then looked into the nest, and there inside the nest was a thickly felted layer of alpaca fleece! Soft, and felted to perfection! I imagined how the nest was at first lined with fluffy fiber which swaddled the tiny eggs, and kept the little bird warm while she warmed her eggs. Then as the eggs hatched and the tiny little bird feet started to pitter and patter when mama brought them their food, they felted the nest! Teeny, tiny baby bird feet felting away!!  This little nest had been a wonderful home, protected them from harm and kept them warm and safe till they were ready to fly.

This nest is a lot like our lives; we weave it together. Our relationships, some like the old tarp, some the fishing string, some the ribbons, and our families, they are like the felt. We keep them close to us. Sometimes things change, sometimes our lives take turns, but the stuff we are made of, and what we choose to weave into our lives, gives us all the chance to “soar.”

This post was contributed by Val Newell of Crown Point at The Green Alpaca and Co-Founder of CIABA.org.

Alpaca Neopolitan Hand Spun Yarn

NeopolitanYarn3Alpaca Farmgirl Neopolitan Hand Spun Yarn

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This is my favorite yarn! It was inspired by some yummy yarn that the incomparable Spazzyarn spun out of merino that was very similar. I fell in love with her hand spun merino Neopolitan and bought it last year.

I had not picked up knitting needles since I was in 7th grade. But her yarn inspired me to get fiber-y again. That and the fields of alpacas in the backyard…

I have to admit though, when I got the merino in my hands I was shocked at how un-soft it was. Let’s face it – I only knew alpaca. That was all I ever felt. And alpaca is just SO soft. I’m spoiled. So I said, “Spazzy, my love…let’s do this in alpaca…” and a project was born.

161 (above) The merino Neopolitan knitted up in a scarf for my baby.

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Here is what the lovely Spazzy has spun. You can purchase it in the Alpaca Farmgirl Shop.

I have tons of it so let me know if you would like multiple skeins and I can make you a special listing. (katy (at) alpacafarmgirl (dot) com). See more of Spazzy’s Handspun at her Etsy Shop.

Shearing the Alpacas Tomorrow

I admit I’m nervous and I’m rambling… We are shearing the alpacas tomorrow. The head count is hovering near 100. We have never sheared 100 alpacas. In 2009 we sheared 77. Every year I get nervous, and every year it goes off without a hitch. Maybe it’s like putting on a big Broadway production. Whatever the correct metaphor, it IS a big event.

So far I’ve labeled the black and brown bags (that’s only about 15% of the way finished since most of our herd is fawn/light). I have to order the food and make the brownies.

Last night my young son made my day year when he actually said to me, “Mom, can I help with shearing day? I’ve always wanted to. It looks like fun.”

Oh yes he did.

He was sick last year. I remember one year him helping a grown up who was sweeping up the debris. (but that was not really fun so he lost interest after a few hours)

I hope super-shearer Marc Loffhagen and I can come up with a cool job for him this year. My son showed me his muscles and he is pretty strong so we shall see…

If you are interested in following along with the shearing madness I will be tweeting all day on Saturday from my @AlpacasLive Twitter account. If you are interested in purchasing alpaca fiber you can email me at katy (at) alpacafarmgirl (dot ) com. Bulk pricing is available in for 9 lbs. and up. Individual fleeces (2-4+ lbs.) are available as well in white, fawn, greys, brown, and black on a very limited basis. Visit our Etsy shop for alpaca yarns and more fiber. Visit our Alpaca Farmgirl shop for alpaca teddy bears, blankets, socks, and more.

Now I’m off to label the fawn bags…

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