Galadriel and her daughter Francesca
My friends from Wildwood Alpacas in Woodford Virginia were good enough to send me pictures of my old girl Galadriel's new female cria, Francesca out of their herdsire, Marcel. Fran, as they call her has already been praised by the shearer as having one of the softest fleeces she's ever seen. Good girl Galadriel!. I always knew that my Gladdie would make a good alpaca mom for some lucky farm. She's always been very motherly and she's also a nice sturdy girl. I don't like alpacas that are rickety-looking.
newborn Francesca with her dam, Glad
Meanwhile, Glad's son, Jake just won a championship at the Blue Ridge Classic Alpaca Show and was praised by the judge there. What a stud muffin!
Glad's con Jake - alpaca stud boy
Also, winning for the Wildwood Alpacas gals was Spice, the granddaughter of my girl, Latte. The Spice girl took a 1st and a reserve champion. She has her grand dam's crazy hairdo and also her queenly bearing.
Latte's granddaughter, Spice
Thank you Sue and Judy, for always sending me photos of the babies and grand-babies ( alpacas) - I love seeing what the girls have produced and how they are doing. They're lucky to have such a happy home.
Meanwhile, my friend Kathleen Gridley and I have formed what may just be the world's most exclusive club; ex-Maryland alpaca breeders, hand spinning and knitting fanatics, named Kathleen, who were members of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Committee and appeared in the the National Geographic Channel's alpaca episode and now live in Florida.
We're kind of wasting all that alpaca hand spinning talent - except for those lucky friends and relatives up North who get the hand made, alpaca Christmas gifts from us. Kathleen and I still get together now and then and send each other photos by e-mail, but we no longer sit together in the dirt watching our alpacas have - ahem - 'relations' with one another, making jokes about whether we should provide music and/or wine. We really miss those days. Here we are at the famous Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida.
Kate Perez and Kathleen Gridley at Bok Tower Gardens
If you're thinking that the other Kathleen is both skinnier AND more well-endowed than me, Yeah, I know! It's not easy being friends with someone like that.
Bok Tower Gardens is located on the highest spot in peninsular Florida, but Kathleen and I both agreed that the climb from our houses on our farms in Maryland, to our own barns was steeper. Still, it was 'high-ish' for Florida and we did get some amazing photos there. And we had a good time seeing each other again. One photo that I just couldn't resist taking was this one,
Who knew Princess Leia's hairdo was invented by old Dutch ladies? This was Bok's grandmother I think. I'm wondering if Kathleen and I should go back in October for the 1st annual BOKTOBERFEST. Free admission and a plant sale, now if they only had alpacas there.....
Speaking of fibery things, the 'Magic Ball Yarn Swap' is the female bonding ritual du jour for knitters lately. I finally got in on one of these in my knitting club, the Knead to Knit gang at the Sunrise Bread Company in Titusville, Florida. I decided to use alpaca - wool blend, Imaginiation, hand-painted yarn from Knit Picks in the coloway, 'munchkin' for my magic ball recipient because she mentioned liking greens and oranges.
I put in a vintage pin, a stitch marker, a needle end holder, soap, a pretty coffee cup coaster for the car, a hidden little ball of bunny fur yarn and other treasures. I have to say though, I was totally outclassed by the magic ball that I received from Amy the nurse - thank you Amy! She remembered me mentioning some hand-knit socks that were snatched off of me by my best friend. I was only too happy to make sure that my friend had hand knit socks but I really loved that yarn (superwash Merino, Felici self striping sock yarn from Knit Picks in the coloway 'Martinique') so Amy found the same yarn to use in my magic ball! Then she added a huge bunch of cute little things.
My favorites were the mini-crochet hook keyring (for emergency stitch picking up) and the personalized stitch markers.
Cute little surprise presents and yarn! What's not to love about this. We all had a blast.
I have only managed to spin one bobbin of my wonderful Huacaya/Suri alpaca blend roving from the Florida Alpaca Show and I'm bummed about that. I really love the way the yarn is turning out. However, I had to be a good Mom and finish my daughter's hand knit birthday socks in the Harry Potter, Opal yarn. Despite the 'help' of a friend's evil little schnoodle dog that I foolishly agreed to puppy-sit
evil, yarn-eating Schnoodle
I did finish the socks. Doing socks for people with tiny, fairy feet, who also only want anklets is really quick! I still have more than half of the skein left (after re-winding the mess the evil schnoodle made.) My daughter loves them. Now if she could put them in the laundry instead of balling them up under her bed.
If you, or anyone else you know, is an ex-Alpaca breeder from Maryland, now living in Florida, please think about joining our exclusive club. There are no dues or rules, except you must be a hand spinner and knitter, crocheter, felter or weaver. We'll waive the part about having to be named Kathleen and being a former member of the MDS&WF Committee. Llama breeders are also welcome!
Because once you've had alpaca, you can never really go backa! It's a part of you that lasts forever.
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