Did anyone catch “The View” this morning? They just had a segment about alpacas and one of the crew raises them. He brought two with him and Joy kept touching it and remarking how soft and how she loved it! They were adorable!!! Those faces!!! He said they are very friendly and can be trained even! They’re sheared once a year and then he sends the “fleece” as he called it to either the Alpaca Cooperative or to a place where they clean it and spin it into yarn! :cheering: He said it was called the “fleece of the kings”. I have to get some alpaca yarn to knit with! SOON! :eyebrow:
They were soo cute!!! I loved their faces… and I liked that they gave him 4 more and named them after the gals of the view
Yeah, that was cool that they did that for him. They have the sweetest faces and their little noses look so soft ~ I always love petting horse’s noses because they feel like velvet ~ I bet the alpaca’s do too! Sweeties!
[color=indigo]I have been raising alpacas for almost 20 years and I can say that they are adorable creatures. By nature, they seem to be more gentle & human-oriented than are llamas, but as with any animal their personalities and dispositions are predominately molded by the attention & affection we give them.
No question that alpaca yarn is very, very soft. It knits as easily as wool, and garments are quite comfortable and warm. Llama wool is heavier, warmer, not as soft, and more rain & weather resistant than is alpaca.
Spinning alpaca takes a bit of practice. I would suggest that you start out spinning alpaca with wool, as that combo is easier to control at the wheel and produces a more readily serviceable yarn.
These folks offer some very nice alpaca yarns: Blue Sky Alpacas[/color]
I saw it too. I love alpacas… they were so cute!!! I wish I lived where I could have one! Maybe one day…
But in the mean time, alpaca is one of my favorite fibers to spin. I currently have about 14 pounds of prime alpaca fiber sitting around waiting to be prepared and spun. Lotsa work, but it’s sooo worth it. Here’s some that I already spun. I haven’t knit it up yet though. I have to find the perfect pattern!
Did you know you can buy yarn from Alpaca Direct through amazon? I love it because I earn these amazon gift certificates by doing surveys.
From where came your alpaca rovings?[/color]
No rovings… it’s all raw. The pics of the spun alpaca came from Windy Hollow Alpacas in Logan, Utah, from their girl Fifi to be exact! lol I hand carded it into rolags, spun it, then washed it. The rest of my stash was bought on Ebay from a fellow spinner who had to give up spinning due to illness. I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but it’s really lovely stuff!
Did you know you can buy yarn from Alpaca Direct through amazon? I love it because I earn these amazon gift certificates by doing surveys.[/quote]
Really? How cool! What kind of surveys do you do and how did you get into doing them?
As far as buying on Amazon, do you just put in Alpaca Direct in the search and the yarn comes up? I didn’t know you could buy yarn on Amazon! I’m learning new things every day! :yay:
I recieved 1200+ yards of alpaca for xmas. I am trying to find out what I could make with this. All the band tells me is that it is 1.4 oz and 125yds. 100 % Alpaca Fiber. It looks like a sport weight to me --2ply. Size 3 needles even seem like too loose of fabric. Any suggestions??? If I make a sweater(which is what my son thought I could do) wouldn’t I need to add more yarn to mix with this to do so? It’s really nice in a natural alpaca beige and just hate to have it sitting in the closet!
It is very likely sport weight (at most). Size US 3 needles seem smallish to me, I have made many sweaters and shawls with 7s. If you are concerned about getting into the alpaca sweater that never ends, run the alpaca with a light weight merino wool or similar llama on 7-9s. In my experience, alpaca and wool yield a more serviceable sweater than does solo alpaca. Plain alpaca will make a great bufanda (short-medium length scarf) that does not need to be knit tightly, as with US 3’s. [/color]
Thanks, I didn’t know what I could put with it. I probably could use bigger needles but in playing with it a little I thought it seemed loose. It might have been that the alpaca seemed so light in weight.
Thanks for the suggestion—I’m just not that experienced in this and didn’t want to knit something up as nice as this fiber and be unhappy.
I LOVE ALPACAS! Right now I’m knitting a chocolate brown skirt from Peruvian Baby Alpaca and also crocheting a lacy shawl out of Drops Alpaca (which is really really nice stuff) Alpaca is what do they say? twice or more times warmer than wool but lighter.
There are some farms near me in the Catskills that I just go drive by lots in the summer and here are some pix, one is my husband and I helping the owner … we held the rope while they crossed the road. My dad is in the background.
Landolphe! You raise them! How cool is that. But in Florida? I would’ve thought it too hot down there for alpacas.
Hope you like the pix!
HOW ADORABLE!!! Thanks for posting those precious pics! They are just the cutest! How lucky you are to live nearby.
I DID raise them in South Florida, but stopped due to problems & complications from the humidity & consequent parasites. I had a longish topic thread up here about this.
I do still raise alpacas & llamas in South America, where the Andean climate is homey & hospitable. Trying to raise guanacos there, but without success to date. Hard to find the right foundation breeding stock.
Ah ha! South America! Lucky you. What the heck is a guanaco? Of course I could google it but I already asked. Yes, my friends/neighbors told me the hardest part is in the summer, that’s when it’s dangerous for them, the alpacas, not the winter. I really like knitting with alpaca, it’s so lushy.
One friend of mine who has about 7 I guess has tried to convince me to buy a couple. We have the acres (12) and 2 old barns but I just can’t commit to living up in the mountains full time. I’m still a new york city girl and like my gourmet food and comforts etc. My friend Freddi is up at 5:30 am in like,
zero degree weather having to schlep out to the barn to feed them.
Now that I think about it, here’s a link to her website if anybody’s interested in looking at her pack brood whatever you call them! Some nice pictures there. She bought her alpacas from Thompson Hollow Farm, the place where my pictures are taken.
Thanks for posting those great photos and the alpaca link. I try to check out every alpaca-related site I come across, because I do love the little fuzzballs, and it helps me to planmy breeding if I know what coat colors US breeders do not have.
Ah, yes, and now for something completely different–well, not really that different. [size=7]The Guanaco[/size] See pix below.
Guanacos are members of the Camelid family, along with Llamas and Alpacas. They are indigenous to the Andean areas of South America and Ecuador and are numerous in the comparatively low mountains of the Cordillera del Andes in Tierra del Fuego (Patagonia) in the southern tip of Argentina. They look much like alpacas, but are smaller and have more delicate facial features. Their wool is even more prized than that of alpacas: lighter and softer (if you can imagine that!). Only vicuna wool is more sought after.
Guanacos are essentially still wild, although there are a few very small breeders in T del F, Arg. Although these fuzzballs live in small social groups and are quite curious, they are close to impossible to catch in the wild. They run at about 35-40 MPH, stotting every dozen yards or so, and seem to have the ability to climb vertical mountain walls at will. I once literally ran out of gas in a Land Rover in T del F while chasing two guanacos. Wanted to see them up close and personal. Not today, chico.
Vicunas are also Andean dwellers with greatest population in Bolivia at altitudes from 14,000 to 18,000 feet. One climber reported a sighting at >20,000 ft. Vicunas are a protected species throughout the region, and I know of no commercial breeders or wool harvesters. But if you look and scratch around the Altiplano, you can usually find someone with a stash of wool for sale.[/color]
Landolphe! As you know I’ve been out of it but my cold is almost gone… still sleeping a lot in the afternoon… but I wanted to say thanks so much for posting these gorgeous pictures and giving me the info on these curious babies. 35 - 40 miles an hour! Wow.
Yeah, vicuna I’ve heard of but not a guanaco. What beautiful colors they have. I’m ashamed of myself for not exploring south america more! Lucky you to be chasing them in a landrover. ha
Thanks again! Vic