Friday, November 12, 2010

Finn and Loch, this ones for you!

Erin over at Garden Now-Think Later mentioned wishing there was an alpaca farm locally so she could show her boys.  We are lucky enough to have a wonderful hobby farm nearby, and went on a field-trip there in August so I thought I would post pictures here for her boys to see, a little alpaca show-and-tell.  Absolutely nothing 'garden' about this post.  :)

Here are 2 females trying to stay cool.  Both are pregnant, but the white one was literally due when we were there, if you look at their bellies you can see the difference.  
(Sadly she had a stillbirth days later, the owner believes due to the nasty heat.)

The other alpacas were kept separate from the two expecting gals.  Here they are coming over to greet us, they knew treats were coming!  (This was also where the spitting event took place... for those that don't know, alpacas spit a fine stinky mist in the air when hot and bothered.  We were inside the fence and somebody was feeling a bit crowded and shot one off into the alpaca crowd.  They scattered in a hurry.  Luckily no small children were trampled (or caught in the mist), but we promptly vacated the area, lol.)

We all got a kick out this fella seen above, he just couldn't be bothered to stand. 
 There are different grades of alpaca fur, and some animals are naturally softer than others.  In addition to this the coarseness etc. the feel of the fiber differs from where the fur was harvested from (neck, side, leg).  Some is quite soft, and other areas are quite scratchy, only the finest grades are used for clothing.
You can see how soft that yarn was- fuzzy, silky, and super-cozy!  An example of something made with the coarse fibers next.....

I will post a few more pictures of the animals and their barn, they were so fun to see.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures guys.  :)

 This alpaca wanted to see what was going on next door....he may have been checking in on the ladies.

(Erin- I mentioned that communal potty spot on your blog, one was here in the barn and they stood there FOREVER eliminating; then the next one would move in to the 'dung pile'.  Potty talk, boys dig it.)


Erin said...

Love it! I tell you this stuff is amazing to work with. As far as the fiber goes, it's stronger than sheep's wool, softer, and amazing in that it lacks lanolin, which some are allergic to: the reason many people can't wear "regular" wool - making it the most hypoallergenic of wools. The only downside to it really is that it lacks the flexibility and elasticity of sheep's wool. Just love the stuff! The heat issue would definitely explain why we don't really have them down this way, although I know from reading that none are native to the states, instead come from high in the mountains of South America, so they are understandably uncomfortable in our summers. thanks for the cool post!

meemsnyc said...

What a cool farm! I don't think I've ever seen alpaca wool before. Now I have to seek it out!

Dani said...

They are gorgeous!

Ron Mylar said...

All the pictures which are shared here are very nice such that they can be imagines as world’s beautiful photographs.

Kelly said...

Thank-your for your kind words Ron!