my dog, Blair - hating to wear the blue scarf!
Well, if you are thinking that it's been a long time since I have posted on my blog, you are not alone. Several people have complained to me about my laziness and I take that as a great compliment. It always amazes me that anyone even reads this thing!
We left Mt. Airy, Maryland at the end of July and moved to Scottsmoor Florida (which could not look less like a Scottish moor for crying out loud; The person who named this place must have had a wicked case of heat stroke!)
I have been missing our farm and Frederick County very badly ever since. It's hard to get used to a new place when you lived in the old one longer than anywhere else in your life (14 years.) We loved our alpaca farm but it was time to move on. Can't go on about that any more or I'll start to blubber like a baby. Wahhhhhh!
Thankfully, my alpaca farmer friends keep me in the loop by sending news about my former alpaca children and what they are up to now. Campion, for instance, just became the dad of this beautiful young lady, "Sheeza Miracle" for his current owners at Virginia Rose Alpacas
in Beaverdam, Virginia.
What a doll baby! but I would expect no less of my boy Campy. Thank you Tara, for sending these photos!
And, what do I say in our Alpaca Care DVD over and over again until you yell at the screen for me to shut up? Even though if it takes the alpaca cria (baby) up to 4 hours to find the "right place" and they suck everything from the wall to the wrong end,
You will just enrage the mother and make the cria smell wrong. Then you'll be mad at the mom for "refusing to nurse" the cria that you handled and claimed as your own.
Whew! Sorry, but I still feel strongly about that topic. Of course little Miracle figured out which end contained the milk spigots in plenty of time.
Meanwhile, at another lovely alpaca farm in Virginia, "Champ", the son of my old girl Pinka, lived up to his name by winning a shiny red ribbon for his owners at Wildwood
Alpacas. His pretty face is just like Pinka's.
And here is a photo of Wildwood's girl PacaBelle's newest daughter out of sire Jasper Black.
Pacabelle is the daughter of my old girl, Latte - the first alpaca I ever picked out to buy. Thanks for the photos Sue n Judy! Your new girl is a beauty!
One of the latest customers to buy the alpaca care DVD was this alpaca farm in Quebec, Canada:
Alpagas du Domaine Riviere
(If I could figure out how to add the accent grave with this keyboard, I would. Sorry fellow French speakers!)
I love their photos and website background, but "ALPAGAS with a G??!" That's how you say it in French? C'est étrange ! (how weird)
As for me, I have been invited to an alpaca show in Jacksonville, FL next month and I just may go and do a little spinning and sell a few copies of the DVD. It's finally cool enough here that the very idea of spinning and knitting isn't repulsive. And by cool, I mean below 80 degrees!
alpaca Kiwi wheel
I brought my alpaca / Kiwi wheel to a local craft show last weekend and, since I no longer have about 50 alpaca fleeces waiting to be spun up at any given time, I spun up some pretty blue Merino from my stash. Unfortunately, my stash is not noticeably smaller so I'll have plenty to spin up for the next few years.
If you're confused about my "alpaca / Kiwi wheel," Kiwi is the model of wheel and the maker is Ashford, but it is painted with alpacas so I call it the alpaca wheel - not to be confused with the "Alpaca" model of a wheel that Majacraft recently started selling.
Alpaca Wheel by Majacraft
That one's basically the same as my old Majacraft Suzie Pro wheel but they have changed the fly wheel color to black, added a cartoony alpaca engraving and - here's the part I don't get - They say, "A slow speed whorl has been used to make it easier to spin lofty light yarns from fibres like alpaca."
I spun alpaca for years on the Suzie Pro and didn't think it was too fast for lofty yarns. Not wanting to be argumentative but don't we want our wheels to spin fast and can't we make the yarn lofty by choosing the correct preparation and type of draw?
Again, I am not trying to be snarky - I really AM asking this out of hand spinner's curiosity. If you think you know the answer to this, pls. e-mail me.
Since the craft fair was for charity, I donated a black shawl and a blue/green scarf( see dog photo above,) both hand knit, but made from "fantasy fur" rather than alpaca. I still have a bunch of alpaca yarn in my yarn stash (not to be confused with my FIBER stash) but it's nice to have the chance to knit with some other fibers.
Speaking of other fibers, I ended up buying a shoulder bag made of crocheted, trash bags at the fair. What a great recycling idea! Wish I'd thought of it myself but, now that I do know about it, I plan to make a few of these too. They're great to take to the beach and the same booth had golf-type hats and cup holders with handles made from plastic bags too. And, of course, it keeps the bags out of the landfill!
purse made entirely of plastic bags
You can find out more about crocheting with plastic bags here:
Crocheting with plastic bags
Of course, since I can no longer terrorize my alpacas with my camera a few times a week, I've been forced to seek out new victims including, manatees (they live right down the street from me and they are sooooo cute!):
The neighbor's parrot on my fence:
Hawk on a tree by our road:
They're all adorable but I still miss my farm in Frederick County!
If you ever go to Frederick City, do not forget to visit the Community Bridge, just trust me on this one!
The entire bridge is covered with Trompe L'oeil painting (French again folks - that means "fool the eye") that looks like 3D carvings, plants, statues, etc.
tell me this doesn't look like a real statue!
Of course I could not tie this neatly into my alpaca-fiber-themed blog unless I point out one, particular design on the bridge, the good old spinning wheel:
As much as I love this artistic rendering of the spinning wheel, I still have trouble figuring out where the treadle is supposed to be or, in other words, what turns the wheel?
Is this a case of artistic license or did the artist use an antique wheel as a model? Many antique wheels are missing certain key parts. Just wondering.
And now, I have one more photo that I am dying to share but it has absolutely nothing to do with alpacas. Here is my photo of the space shuttle Endeavor lifting off on the evening of November 14:
shuttle Endeavor lifts off from Cape Canaveral
How do I justify using this completely un-related photo? Well, I was going to say that it's very cold in space so maybe the astronauts need alpaca socks but, according to the "Naked Scientist" Website, Space isn't as cold as we've been led to believe. It says,
"The outer space around Earth is around 20 degrees Centigrade. (68 degrees F)
If you go out to Pluto, you're probably looking at around minus 220 degrees Centigrade.
(-364 degrees F)"
Clearly, our astronauts don't go to Pluto, so whether they get cold up there is not clear to me but I'm keeping my shuttle photo on the blog anyway.
Finally, for all of you who asked about my husband, Tom, whose Sarcoidosis was the reason we gave up the alpaca business, he is doing quite well right now - THANK YOU! If you know anyone who has Sarcoidosis and wants to discuss Tom's treatment using the Marshall Protocol, please contact us.
Old friends and new, Please, Keep In Touch!
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