Thursday, December 1, 2011

Up Close with Alpaca

With my Homeopathy College Class we were invited to take part in a Large Animal Clinical Training day.
So we visited farms where homeopathy is used on animals.
One of those was an Alpaca Farm.

Homeopathy and Fibre coming together! What more could I wish for?

I had not had the opportunity before to be very upclose to alpaca and this farm visit was an amazing experience.

Being a farm girl myself was obviously an advance over my city dwelling student collegues for whom the whole farm seen was a novelty experience.

But I learned heaps about Alpaca, their care, their habits and their fiber as well as their health issues that on this farm were treated with homeopathic remedies. 

They even showed us how Alpaca get shorn and this is such a different event then the sheep shearing we know.
It was this little guys first shearing, but he tolerated it very well and was treated wit kindness all through. 
He is of the Huacaya variety of Alpaca which has very light and fluffy beautifully soft fibre (not wool, but hair)
And below you can see how little animal is left after the fibre has gone.....don't laugh!

Anyway, I could not help myself and asked if they would mind if I took a little bit of the fibre home to spin and try (I have only ever spun Suri Alpaca which is heavy and sleek, though beautiful in itself too.)
 So I did take some............boy was it nice to spin!
I want more!!!

It was only a very small amount and I wanted it to last so I spun it very fine as you can see.(It made only 106 yards, prob 2.5mm needles),
I thought it would be nice to take the end product to class next time, to sow my class mates what can be done with the soft fluffy delicious stuff. As most of them have no idea.

And then when I had spun it and plied it all up I thought some colour would be nice too.

I used Acid dyes in yellow, orange, pink and red with a cold pour method.

It turned out quite lovely and sweet. Some of the beige original colour still visible.

And now I am thinking what is this going to be???????

PS thanks Laura for the alpaca photos!!

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