Roseann, also known as the Uber Knitter (see link to her amazing knitting blog above at right.) wanted to get my reaction to this article since we two have discussed the spinning and preparing of alpaca fiber as well as knitting with alpaca yarns many times. In fact, Roseann’s blog currently shows a photo of her beautiful, cabled alpaca hat, handspun and knit from the fleece of my former alpaca herdsire, Valentino.
Link to Roseann’s Valentino-fleece cabled hat
Alpaca Cabled Hat
That Roseann! We love her but what a showoff - the hat is perfect!
Since my long-winded reponse to the above-mentioned article may be too much for some readers, my main points are:
1. Huacaya and Suri alpaca fleeces and yarns are very different and should be discussed separately. For superior luster, drape and brilliant color, choose Suri alpaca. For wool-like qualities, choose Huacaya alpaca.
2. Different brands of alpaca yarns have greatly differing qualities and should be discussed individually.
3. There is so much misinformation available regarding alpacas and their fleeces and yarns that it is best to ignore any out of date sources of information and concentrate only on the more current scientific information.
For those stalwarts who want to know more, here is the entire review:
I was overjoyed to see Clara Parkes, who happens to be the author of, “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn,” rightly points out that,
“…many of these, docile, quiet animals ended up in places like petting zoos, where the onslaught of eager, outgoing children sometimes prompted the animals to defend themselves by spitting. This earned alpacas a bad and unjustified reputation as ill-tempered beasts. But spend a quiet day with the animals on their own turf, and you’ll quickly fall in love.”
What a perfect way to describe the situation when would be alpaca lovers try to interact with alpacas out in public and then feel disappointed that alpacas are not as “friendly” as they would like them to be! That paragraph alone makes the entire article worth reading in my opinion.
photo of my son and Chloe happily spending time together during halter training at home on our farm
However, I was dismayed to find some of the information offered in the article to be misleading at best. The author states that llamas and alpacas, “descended originally from the Camelid family.” It would be more correct to say that alpacas and llamas ARE members of the Camelid family.
In discussing the smooth coated Suri and the crimpier Huacaya varieties* of alpaca, the author states that, “Both animals grow coarse “beard” hairs, which must be removed, and the the soft wool-like hair used in yarns and fabrics.”
Oops! I had to read the above paragraph several times before I accepted the fact that Ms. Parkes is describing both Suri and Huacaya fleeces as “wool-like.” The two coats are completely different in type and, to lump them together in the minds of spinners and knitters will lead to a lot of disappointment! Suri is very similar to high quality, single coated llama fleece or kid mohair, and is suitable for worsted-type garments only. It is not “wool-like’ in the slightest.
my daughter poses with our Suri alpaca, Comet. Comet had 1 almost year of fleece growth in this photo.
my baby alpaca, Pinka with her dam, Dancer – both Huacayas The dam has about 6 months of fleece growth in this photo while cria has about 3 months.
And what's up with the author’s reference to “beard” hairs??! Alpacas have been bred for thousands of years to be single coated animals in the blanket portion of their fleeces and fiber-quality alpacas should have a very negligible amount of guard hair in their blankets. Certainly there should not be enough guard hair there to require the spinner to remove them by hand!
photo of my hands holding open Pendragon’s fleece. Note lack of "beard" hairs!
Some older, or poorly bred alpacas may have quite a bit of guard hair and these fleeces should never be sold as “alpaca fleece” or spun up into “alpaca” yarn. They would not meet the standards of the buyers of alpaca fleece and yarn and can only hurt the market for alpaca products. The Peruvians sometimes label these fleeces, “llama” when they are sold but they also sacrifice many of their older alpacas for food. They do not sell these inferior fleeces as “alpaca” and breeders in the U.S. should not be selling these either.
To misunderstand that alpacas are a single coated fiber animal, misses the entire point of their use and popularity!
close up of unadulterated alpaca fleece from my farm with one guard hair circled in red.
I wondered about the source of the author’s phrase “beard hair” instead of the term, guard hair, which is almost universally used by all alpaca and llama breeders worldwide. So, playing Kate Perez, intrepid Google Detective!, I searched Google on the term and found 2 main references to beard hair along with the word alpaca.
The first came from the book, “The Microscopy of Technical Products” published in 1907 by Thomas Franz Hanausek and translated by Andrew Lincoln Winton. On page 139 under the heading:
“Alpaca, Vicuna, Llama, Huanaco.”
Mr. Hanausek states:
“Four species of goat like animals belonging to the camel family yield hair of industrial importance. Two of these, the alpaca goat (Auchenia Paco) and the llama, (A. Lama) are domesticated, while the other two, the vicuña (A. Vicunna) and the huanaco (A Huanaco) occur only wild.”
Note: emphasis on the words “alpaca goat” is mine. The author goes on to say,
Huanaco and vicuña wool are now seldom found on the European or American market…The commercial products contain both beard hairs and wool hairs.”
I dare to hope that this book was NOT the source of the Ms. Parke’s use of the term “beard hairs” but it was the number one Google result on the day that I searched. In addition to using the word “goat” in reference to the alpaca, the genus names for all 4 animals used by the author are either incorrect or, at least, out of date.
The current genus names are: llama, (lama glama), alpaca (vicugna pacos), guanaco (lama guanicoe) and vicuña (vicugna, vicugna.) The genus name of the alpaca was changed from (lama pacos) to the current genus name in 2001 as more evidence came to light that the alpaca was descended from the superfine vicuña rather than the llama as previously thought.
Google result of seach for terms, “beard hair alpaca”
Another highly ranked Google result shown above has the term “beard hair” appearing in, “A Bestiary of Useful Fibers” by Peter Warshall, (Whole Earth Summer 1997 ) in which, Mr. Warshall states,
“The two popular cameloid wools from South America: Alpaca is high-grade — softer, finer, stronger and more lustrous than sheep wool. Alpacas coevolved with high Andes grasses, limiting globalization compared to sheep. Their slippery fibers resist dying and weaving. They can be sheared only once every two years. But, alpaca fleece contains no waste wool ("kemp") as do other wool providers. The llama is larger (sometimes twice the weight). A multi-purpose cameloid, locals love them as pack animals with the perk of harvesting a coarser, weaker wool with lots of kemp. Not a high Andes specialist, llamas have begun to spread to the mountains of the United States.”
The mistakes in the above paragraph are far less defensible than those of the 1907 technical tome because alpacas were first imported to the U.S. in 1984 and, by 1997, the printing date of the article mentioned above, there were many alpacas living in many different climates in the United States.
Mr. Warshall’s ideas about “slippery fibers” may be the result of his thinking that Suri was the main type of alpaca and his idea that either variety of alpaca has a fleece that resists dyeing is especially preposterous, but far worse is his pronouncement that alpacas can only be shorn once every two years!
It isn’t my intention to look up and argue with each and every one of the innumerable books and articles that contain misinformation about alpacas and their fleece, only to illustrate the dangers of writing any modern book or article about alpaca fleece and yarn without checking into the up-to-date sources of information and eschewing those that are too old and incorrect to be useful. It may be that neither of these was the source of Ms. Parke’s term “beard hairs.” Unfortunately she does not offer any sources for her information on the nature of alpaca fleeces.
Moving on from the beard hair issue, Ms. Parkes also claims that, “Alpaca fibers are longer than fine sheep wools, ranging in length from 4 ½ to 11 inches (11.5-28cm) or longer depending on how frequently they’ve been shorn.”
It’s hard to argue with that statement because it seems to be describing only the length of Peruvian fleeces and the shearing intervals used in Peru. However, even the most inexperienced alpaca breeder will tell you that the length of Suri fleeces differ greatly from those of Huacayas, as do the ability of each type of alpaca to go unshorn in warmer weather.
Because the Suri fleece is not as insulating as that of the Huacaya, Suris can tolerate going unshorn for longer periods. For this reason, any statement of normal fleece lengths or shearing intervals regarding alpacas should specify which type of alpaca is being referred to. In the U.S., all Huacaya alpacas should be shorn every year to avoid potentially deadly heat stroke caused by an alpaca trying to survive the summer unshorn.
Here are two more of her statements that made me wish that Ms. Parkes had made more of an effort to differentiate between Huacaya and Suri type fleeces,
“Alpaca has a smooth, dense, and lustrous hand, absorbing dye readily and reflecting it back with brilliance and luster.”
“For this same reason, any kind of ribbing in pure alpaca will be decorative only-the yarn won’t reliably keep your fabric snug.”
The words “brilliance” and “luster” are usually associated with the much smoother, shinier Suri-type alpaca fleece while the ability of the alpaca fleece to produce a snugly-fitting ribbed edge would be possible in a Huacaya-type fleece only. At least Ms. Parkes correctly asserts that alpaca fiber accepts dye well.
Having claimed that using ribbing in alpaca yarns will not produce the desired snugness, she then goes on to review specific brands of alpaca yarn and says of one in particular, “the inelastic drape of most alpaca yarns make them a poor choice for cabled or textured patterns, but this yarn (Blue Sky Alpacas Royal) would be a standout in an Aran sweater.”
Could that be because the creators of Blue Sky Alpacas Royal yarn have made some effort to use crimpy Huacaya alpaca fleeces when producing their popular alpaca yarn? I couldn’t tell from their website. I could, however, find the following photo and description here: http://www.blueskyalpacas.com/news_deta ... news_ID=54
“ Knot Hat, A Blue Sky pattern as advertised in Vogue Knitting Fall 2007. Designed by Bobbi IntVeld. Shown in Blue Sky Royal, #708 Seaglass.”
Note the use of ribbing which seems functional rather than merely decorative on the tightly-fitting hat above.
I, myself, have spun up, and knit with, many, many alpaca fleeces, of both the Suri and Huacaya variety and found that the garments that I spun and knit from Huacaya fleeces have kept their shapes quite well through several years of wear and repeated washings.
The mittens pictured below, for example, have been worn by me almost every day throughout two winters while doing horse barn chores and still fit the same way they did when I first put them on. In order to remove horsey smell and hay coverage, they have been washed many times and, while they no longer look perfect, they have completely resisted pilling and stretching.
Not as cute as Roseann's hat, but warmer than any mittens or gloves I have ever owned!
My final complaint has to do with Ms. Parke’s assertion that the word ‘royal’ in one alpaca yarn’s name is, “code for royal baby alpaca.” The last thing any of us needs is more confusion about the terminology used to express alpaca fiber diameter!
Marketing hype aside, both “baby alpaca” and the much newer term, “royal” refer to the micron count of the alpaca fiber in question. Fiber of “baby alpaca” grade often comes from adult alpacas and royal can come from adults as well. Many of the Peruvian alpaca producers also routinely label coarser alpaca fleeces, “llama.” When discussing grades of alpaca fibers and yarns, it’s best to stick to the micron designations and their grade names and leave specific animals and their ages out of it. Here is an example of the type of alpaca fiber grade chart I wish the author had used:
(Chart taken from Candian Camelid Fibre Cooperative)
Even then, it pays to remember that longer staple lengths=less ends in the finished yarn so a longer fleece with a slightly higher micron count can feel better against the skin than a shorter fleece with a lower micron count.
To her credit, Ms. Parkes states in her final paragraph, “No matter what the label says, remember yarns can still vary dramatically in softness and quality of presentation, even within the same fiber grade. Ideally, you want to touch the yarn for yourself to determine if it’s the right material for your intended project. “
I couldn’t agree more.
*Though many alpaca breeders and enthusiasts refer to Suri and Huacaya alpacas as separate “breeds,” many genetic experts have pointed out that they are more correctly classified as two varieties of the same breed in the same way that some dog breeds have members with either curly or smooth coats.
PS. Yes! I am on Ravelry.comcodename: "alpacagal."
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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.
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Tom and I cruised down to Manakin Sabot, Virginia (why is this town named after the French words for doll and wooden shoe?) to do the Alpacas 101 and alpaca fiber / shearing lectures at Jane's place, Thistledown Alpacas. Jane had rented the firehouse and, though I don't really mind lecturing in cold, drizzle or even chill winds and wildly flying snow - Wearing my alpaca clothing! - like I have often done in the past, it was nice to be indoors during our talks.
Alpaca Seminar Lunch
The food was excellent too but, Jane, being British, did not seem to take the need for coffee seriously enough. Tom, the Cuban had to intervene so that we'd all be sufficiently caffeinated. However, Jane did have lots of informative and impressive displays including this one:
Thistledown Alpacas farm display
I'm not jealous!
There was a good crowd of alpaca owners and would-be alpaca owners at this event and they were all very polite and eager to learn everything. We had a blast! Here is Tom doing his shearing talk:
Tom Perez - alpaca shearing lecture
And me, showing my collection of good and bad alpaca fleece samples, and doing my patented Fiber Nazi, "Show It - Don't Throw It" rant:
Kate Perez - alpaca fiber lecture
I met so many people that I really liked but, being old, cannot remember most of their names with the exception of the Two Guys Named Tom. Tom, the father, was wearing the most beautiful, basket weave pattern, hand-knitted sweater that I could hardly pay attention to him when he asked questions. The sweater was mesmerizing me! He probably thought I was nice, but a little slow witted. Now I wish I'd bugged him to let me photograph the sweater!
One couple that I did remember were Al & Virginia Dillon because Al had the baseball hat with their Courthouse Alpacas farm logo on it. I thought it was about Appomattox Courthouse, which I've always wanted to visit, but it turned out to be Smithfield, VA courthouse in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Doesn't that sound like the prettiest place to raise alpacas? Now I feel unsatisfied with my own, humble county. Don't get me wrong! I love Frederick County, but why can't we have a poetic county name like Isle of Wight?
Courthouse Alpacas logo
Mr. & Mrs Dillon, if you had your own website, I would have linked to it in the above paragraph. But, I already nagged everyone about websites during my lecture, so I'll shut up now.
One, unexpected thrill of the weekend came when one of the participants brought her spinning wheel for me to look at. Having owned 6 different spinning wheels and seen at least 50 others at the MD Sheep & Wool Festival, I thought I'd seen pretty much everything but this one, a "Hitchhiker", was really unique. Instead of having the drive band go over the drive wheel and the whorl, this one had a choice of three rubber whorls that rest against the drive wheel.
Hitchhiker spinning wheel
Though I recognized the rubber things as whorls, I (Little Miss Spinning Expert!) couldn't explain why this design worked, so one of the participants (a guy of course) had to do it for me. Guys don't normally spin but they are usually good at explaining mechanical stuff whereas the world wouldn't have any wheels at all if it was left up to me to figure out why round is better than square - that's how mechanically challenged I am.
I brought my Ashford Kiwi and Majacraft Millie wheels as well as a drop spindle to demonstrate on and I let a couple of interested parties try hand spinning, so I didn't look like a total dumbbell in the hand spinning dept.
If you are curious to know more about the Hitchhiker Spinning Wheel,
Jane tried pretty hard to scare me away from taking any photos of her but I did it anyway. Here she is - looking absolutely fine! - doing the "hands on" alpaca tour at her place after the lectures with me and my big butt helping out. At least my hand-spun alpaca sweater looks good.
I promised myself I wouldn't terrorize Jane with more photos but, when I looked over and saw her making the infamous " How the alpaca's teeth are supposed to meet the palate " hand gesture, I had to have a photo of it! I have made this same gesture at least a hundred times during farm visits at my place. It's much easier than trying to shove the alpaca's snout at onlookers while you hold their lips back (the alpaca's lips - NOT the onlookers!) so people can see the good bite. That often results in a really mad alpaca.
how the alpaca's teeth should meet the palate
Here is my son, Nick, showing the bite the way we do it in the show ring but, since there are no onlookers crowding all around the alpaca making it nervous, it's a little easier to do it without getting a CRANKYPACA.
showing the alpaca's bite - show ring style
So, was the whole thing just soooo wonderful? No! As much as I liked the participants and thought Jane did a great job of setting the event up, there was still that moment when I had to stand around all of her beautiful alpacas and realize that NONE OF THEM WERE MINE! Ouch.
These two, newish alpaca cria were especially tempting to me and, looking at them, I confess, I had an unkind thought along the lines of Why should Jane have 3 pretty little girls AND two brand new, gorgeous alpaca cria and I have no cria and a daughter who will not wear frilly dresses or hair ribbons anymore? Is that fair?
alpaca cria that should belong to me
Of course, I love my daughter but, at 15 and 1/2, our days of buying Hello Kitty hair bows together are over.
Since the participants got to fondle all the alpacas,
I figured, Why shouldn't I do a little fondling of my own? Note the woman to my right who is examining the fleece of the cria in a responsible way, without being too grabby, while ignoring my totally inappropriate huggy, lovey-dovey behavior. She's thinking, "That Kate Perez - What a phony!" because earlier in the day I had sternly warned the seminar participants not to be huggy and kissy with their new born alpaca cria.
Kate - being a bad example
Then I went a little further and thought, Hey, why not just lift this little thing right over the fence to my husband, Tom and we could jump into the truck with it and burn rubber out of there?
alpaca stealing - not really
No, come on! I wouldn't do that to Jane after she was nice enough to invite us to speak at her event.
_________The rest of you, may need to watch out though!________
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My always thoughtful and technologically advanced friends at Wildwood Alpacas in Virginia sent the photo above of the new cria of their girl, PacaBelle. They knew I'd want to see it because PacaBelle is the daughter of my old girl, Latte, making the new cria, Latte's and My granddaughter. Sue and Judy (owners of Wildwood) also own another of Latte's daughters, "Pretty Penny" pictured below:
I never stop wanting to know how my old girls and boys are doing in their current homes and what offspring they've produced when they are grown. They are like my grown children. So keep those photos and e-mails coming folks!
Even though I am no longer able to breed alpacas at my place, I still advertise the "for sale" alpacas of other farms on my website. This week I added a bunch of really cute for sale alpacas from Pax River Alpaca Farm in Upper Marlboro, MD. My favorite of theirs is named, Cameo. Pictured below:
You can see the rest of their alpacas here:
My Alpacas for sale Page
Meanwhile, I finished knitting the 100% alpaca socks mentioned in my last post. They ended up fitting really well and they are very comfy and warm but the pattern had a mistake in it - Grrr!!!! I am mentally challenged enough when I try to figure out knitting patterns people! I don't need you to do sloppy editing too!
Not kidding here. I am notoriously thick when it comes to figuring out knitting patterns so I really should not enjoy knitting as much as I do. And, to make matters worse, I have all these friends who are like, knitting geniuses! If you don't believe me, check out the link above, at right for my friend, Roseann's, knitting blog. Anyway, the alpaca socks are below:
They were knit on size 0 needles with 100% alpaca yarn in fingering weight.
The pattern came from the book, Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles
If you click the link on the book's name, above, you will go to author Cat Bordi's web site where she has posted corrections for some of the errors in the book but NOT the one that messed me up. I love you Cat, but pls. look more closely at pages 15 & 16! I realize that we can figure out what to do in round 7 by figuring out where you were going with rounds 5 and 9, but I didn't even notice the missing number until I'd knitted most of round 9. Then I was too lazy to rip it out. Size 0 needles!!! Do you know what I'm saying!??
Did this stop me from immediately planning to knit up another pair of alpaca socks and buying Cat Bordi's new book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" ? Of course not! This new book is even harder but sooooooo amazingly innovative. This is like the "Eureka! - I can't believe I didn't see that before!" sock book. It's the sock architecture moment of enlightenment, apple falling on Newton's head, E=MC squared book.
OK, maybe you find all this blathering about socks boring but
Why do we breed and shear alpacas again?????
Next time someone asks you "What are alpacas for?" You just point to your feet and these socks. If your feet are warm but not sweaty, inside of their non-itchy, non-bulky socks, in the chilly weather, life is good! Or, as the old Norwegian saying goes, "There's no bad weather, only bad clothing!" And then, there's that Old Kate Perez saying, "Don't try to sell alpacas wearing Polartec and Goretex!
Wondering about the alpaca punk part of my title for this post? Several of my ahem, younger, friends pointed out to me that they had seen the former lead singer of the band, Inamere, James Kelly, wearing a Mount Airy Alpaca T-shirt on his My Space page. In case you are old, like me, FYI: Inamere was top 35 in SmartPunk's list of hot bands. Whatever that means!
As much as I'd like to pretend that even cool, young musicians are all clamoring for the famous Mount Airy Alpaca T-shirt, the truth is that James Kelly is my nephew. And, though I kind of like his song, "Garden State of Mind" which you can order here:
mp3 version of Garden State of Mind
I have to warn anyone reading this to please not Google James or check out his MySpace page because it is nasty! I know you are young and "cool" James but, as your Aunt, I have to ask you to please remove the photo of yourself in your "illustrated" underwear from your My Space page and stop using the F word all over it and talking about procreative matters as well! You may still want to go back to college one day and no Dean of Students wants THAT person at his or her school!
Not saying this to be judgmental but because I love you and it's my job as your Aunt to disapprove of these behaviors. Someday, God willing, you will have rebellious little children of your own and you don't want them finding an archived copy of that web page!
James Kelly in his Alpaca T-shirt
The band Inamere
I'm heading out now to work at Thistledown Alpacas for the weekend, doing the alpaca lecture and DVD sales thing. Here is the photo Jane (owner of Thistledown) sent me of her daughters and their alpacas dressed up for Halloween this year. I'm pretty jealous of this one! I miss that alpaca costume class alot.
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