It's good to have friends and, if you no longer have your own cuddly alpacas, it's really good to have friends with alpacas! We went to dinner with our former customers and now good friends, Susan and Larry Burkins at Apple Valley Alpacas in Warfordsburg, PA, and had the thrill of seeing our old pals, Anya (who's pretty face is pictured above), Gwennie, Creampuff, Jazzmine and Jaymee. Oh, and we saw Susan and Larry too.
Anya and Gwen were born on our farm so they are extra special to me. Anya was born to a supposedly unbred dam, Cassandra, so we always called her our "virgin birth" but not in a disrespectful way. I am a big fan of all mothers including the Blessed Mother.
It was my own blessed mother who may have been the cause of this miracle. While we were away for 4 days for my mother's funeral in West Point, New York, it seems that the high school boy watching our farm must have let either Anya's dam, Cassandra, or Anya's sire, Campion, into the wrong field and then realized his mistake and fixed it but not soon enough.
He never told us anything, but Anya was born to her unbred dam almost exactly 11 months after that trip to New York. I like to think that my Mom sent her to us, so I am grateful that I know where she is and that her life is happy. Susan and Larry take wonderful care of their alpacas and their place is gorgeous.
paca boys w/ mountain view
Here is Gwen, looking as little and cute as ever:
Her son, Navajo Joe is quite a bit bigger than her now. The marking on Joe's neck reminds me of a puzzle piece. How cute is this guy!!!
Navajo Joe - alpaca guy
While the rest of us oohed and ahhed, "some people" could not stop text messaging a certain boy! The alpacas seemed to be looking at my daughter and saying, "Look how adorable we are and this kid isn't even admiring us!"
cell phone girl and alpacas
Susan and Larry have a bunch of nice boys for sale but, since they are disgracefully lax about updating their website, just call them if you want a young alpaca boy. 717-294-6091
Meanwhile, I had to say goodbye to MY girls all over again. That hurt. Look how pretty they are!
Jazzmine and Gwen in front, Creampuff in middle
Despite my mushy, self pitying thoughts, I still had plenty of pretty animals to hang out with over my Christmas "break." The kids and I spent every day helping do all the chores at my neighbor's horse farm while she was away visiting her family. Also, I was treating Sweetie, the grouchy horse, for Lyme disease with 31 pills twice a day! On Christmas day I forced her to wear a Santa hat and hand-knit Christmas scarf just to cheer myself up.
Sweetie was not amused by this at all, but there was one person around who thought the hat and scarf were nice and warm. As soon as I put them down, barn cat "Peanut Butter," claimed them for himself.
I spent the rest of my "free time" during the holidays torturing myself spinning up some Yak roving.
Yak fiber is super short and so, a whole lot harder to spin than alpaca fiber. The staple length of this one was supposedly 1.2 inches but, really, it was less than 1 inch. I ending up trying to use the double draft method but then couldn't remember how to do it.
YouTube to the rescue!
I Googled hand spinning Yak and hit the jackpot. Here is a link to a YouTube video of a very talented, but slightly weird girl, demonstrating double drafting while hand spinning Yak fiber.
Like I said, a little weird, but very informative. Since Yak is so fine but short, it really would be better mixed with a fine but longish fiber like, I don't know, alpaca maybe? Whenever I hear other alpaca people compare alpaca fiber to cashmere I want to telepathically yell, But it's a lot longer!!! That's super important if you are a hand spinner. If anything, the girl in this video makes spinning Yak look way easier than it really is.
There are a surprising number of hand spinning videos on YouTube but this one, starring a boy who also shears and knits, has to be the funniest! The intro is kind of long but the rest is sooooo worth the wait.
VERY FUNNY VIDEO OF BOY SPINNING & KNITTING
But, enough Yakking, I have my own video to sell.
[ view entry ] ( 3841 views ) | [ 0 trackbacks ] | permalink | ( 3.1 / 543 )