Don't you love it when reality smacks you in the gob! I probably should have realized my sweater was going to be way too large when someone asked me if I were making a scarf. It wasn't until I was close to finishing that I realized I had missed a repeat of pattern then saw that my sweater was turning into a tunic or dress. Not to worry, I knit to ease my mind and keep my hands busy.Read More
About a year ago my husband's cousin invited us over for a craft day and introduced us all to the wide world of Needle Felting and of course I had to make a 3-d alpaca for my mom.
Needle felting is essentially where you agitate wool using a very sharp needle to manipulate into taking whatever shape you want.
A few months later I learned that you can use needle felting to repair holes in clothing.
In this case I felted bright red hearts onto a tight knit wool sweater. I could not find wool to match the brown of my sweater so I went with bright red hearts to wear both year round and in honor of Valentines.
One of the main draws my mother found to owning a whole heard of alpacas all to herself (ourselves) was the near unlimited access to her own fibers. These fibers can be used in any number of ways including: in their semi raw for for needle felting, used in huge and incredible art installations (see below), spun into yarn for weaving, knitting, etc. The possibilities are literally limitless.
The idea being that you take the fleece that the alpacas have been growing all year long and once sheer-ed, you take the fibers and use them for anything and everything.
Admittedly, and much to my mom's dismay, I did not immediately know what fibers in relation to crafting and knitting were; no matter how many times the word was repeated. (sorry I didn't catch on, Mom!)
Fast forward a few years and our fibers just keep coming in! We are so lucky. Our heard is happy and healthy and just keeps growing that fleece. We essentially have a never ending quest to collect as many fibers as we can.
Right now our goals with the fibers are as follows:
- Find a way to get these fibers quickly cleaned and spun into yarn or (something adjacent to yarn) in a timely manner. If you know of any place that does this, please send me their contact info!
- Create and share alpaca fiber art.
- Make the world comfier and prettier by with our alpaca fibers
Since we have so much alpaca fibers to go around I thought it would be fun to get into the wide world of fiber art. Below are a few ideas on what other people have made.
A few years ago right before this boy went to go work in Alaska for the summer he wanted to show his sister a new trick involving carrying his dog on his shoulders
For reference this dog is a rescue dog and a fully grown malamute. Even though he is a family dog he has a particular preference to this brother and tends to let him get away with more than any other human.
Five years later the tradition continues as our world traveler was getting ready to go back to Alaska he sent these pictures my way
While we're on a trip down memory lane, look at these young sweet faces!
One of the priorities we had when we were looking for a place to raise alpacas was we needed a somewhere with room to grow hay for our animals.
Even though we don't yet have the alpacas with us it was important to get an early start on stocking up on food for them for winter since the snows will cover most if not all of the vegetation.
It was hard work but these two were champs!
We've recently gotten permits and plans are underway to add another shelter to our land. The idea is to house our boy alpacas away from our girl alpacas.
In general alpacas can be both very virile and fertile so in terms of planning for our pack it's easier to keep the genders separate except for certain times of the year.
One step closer to having them here with us!
It stormed last night, raining on us and blanketing the mountains around us with fresh snow. The view from our windows were breathtaking. Pictures can never show what I see looking out the window and my phone needs updating but this gives you a glimpse of what I saw.
Unfortunatly it is MAY.
Even I have been putting winter clothes away and I had to dig to find my go to winter ‘coat’which is really a heavy sweater I like to use instead. Note the little bits of fluff left over from a rogue Kleenex that slipped through the wash in my sleeve.
I knitted this years ago and based the pattern off some beautiful sweaters I saw and loved when I lived in England. It was my first "real" knitting project. When I purchased my yarn years and years ago I don't think the store clerks thought I would finish, but they don't know me—I always seem to look for the most complicated project to start to learn. I love a challenge and found that I loved the cabling and other knitting patterns used in this.
For a long time I kept this for special occasions. Several years ago I found myself trying to work fulltime, take care of my family and travel 30 miles most days to help take care of my parents. One day I threw this on instead of a coat and realized how wonderfully warm it was. From then on it became my ‘coat’. Oh, and the long sleeves came in handy--they kept my hands warm so that I didn't need gloves.
Life is calmer (and warmer) but most winter days you’ll see me proudly sporting this sweater.
I love my new home but now that I'm settled in, I've realized that I need to start making friends in my new town, so Monday I visited a neighborhood quilting group I had heard about.
Quilters are lovely people and this group is no exception. These ladies shared a bit of their lives with me as we quilted and it was a perfect way for me to get to know them.
The couple of hours we spent around quilting frames soon made us fast friends. They thought of me as a youngster, but I thank my hairdresser for coloring my hair the a few days before. (Hi Patrick!)
The six of us tied 4 baby quilts which were added to the 12 tied previously and were donated later that day. I am impressed by their adventurous and generous spirits. Their acts of service is humbling and I am glad I get to be their friend
Spring is in full swing here which means we are getting excited to be able to house our girls on our very own ranch!
Until then we will be contented with these photos of where our girls are currently being boarded.