People, you are just making this WAY too easy for me. It's like you're Dorothy and I'm the Wicked Witch of Alpaca Fleece Oz and you keep walking up to my Flying Monkeys and asking them for a lift to my Castle!
Despite having been very Wicked and Cranky with you, in telling you that YOU are responsible for educating YOURSELF about your own Alpaca Fleece from YOUR OWN Alpacas,
Alpaca Fleece Reality Check
And pretty much all over MY WEBSITE and this blog, you continue to imagine that I am Glinda the Good Witch of the Alpaca Fleece Oz and send me e-mails like this one (an actual e-mail I received this week):
Subject: alpaca fiber
On Saturday, March 6, 2010, 09:51 PM, NAME REMOVED
I'm interested in selling our raw fier (sic) from our farm we have anywhere from 60-70 animals at the farm at one time,so as now we have built up quite a bit of extra fiber,u have all colors but are now breeding for grey,and black.if u could contact me that would be great
NAME AND PHONE NUMBER REMOVED
So now I wave my wand over you while you click your shiny, red shoes together and what? Return you to the time when movies were black and white?, make munchkins show up at your alpaca farm and sort your fiber for you? magically buy all your alpaca fleece from you sight unseen?
Oops! My wand seems to be broken.
Uh Oh, Here it comes... my bicycle is getting lifted up in the tornado and I feel myself going all green-skinned and pointy-hatted, My Pretty. I am putting on my alpaca blend socks in the Wicked Witch colorway.
WHY do you own 60 - 70 alpacas and have NO PLAN for what to do with the END PRODUCT of your alpacas????!!!!
And, did the "BREEDER" you bought your initial alpacas from tell you that they don't use their alpaca fleece, but you bought from them anyway??!!
See, Dorothy DID steal those shoes from My sister, and WHY SHOULD she be allowed to keep them just because she's CUTER than me and can sing like nobody's business?
Or, put in more black and white terms, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry didn't set up their farm and then expect someone else (that they did not even know!) to make a market for their pigs, and/or sell the pigs for them, while they just kept breeding pigs and never even ate one of their own, or knew how to slaughter it.
I'm sorry to be the Wicked Witch but someone has to say it!
And, no, I won't be calling you. I sell an Alpaca Care DVD that tells you how to shear your alpacas, and bag up your fleece, and take care of your alpacas. If you want one, you can call or e-mail me.
I don't sell other people's alpaca fleeces. Sorry. If I want to buy one, I have plenty of hand spinning, fiber artist, alpaca breeder, friends from whom I can buy one.
And, your little dog too!
(Thanks to Cheer7780 for this Witch Icon!)
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Would I have access to a proper selection of knitting yarns? alpaca, wool-whose sheepy parents are identified by breed, silks, bamboo, organic cotton, linen, hair of the Mo?
Would there be other hand spinners with whom to obsess about rovings, slivers, batts, carders, combs, wheels and poorly twisted singles?
Would there be SERIOUS knitters? - the kind who are unashamed of their calling as goddesses of yarn creation and wouldn't think of buying yarn at WalMart or refusing to knit a pattern just because it required the dreaded STEEK?
Luckily for me, the answer to all of these is, Yes, yes, yes!
Florida is surprisingly fibery! In (shameful) fact, I am one of the least talented Florida knitters I know. Thank the goddess, Frigg, that I am a pretty decent hand spinner!
I have an entire posse of cool, tart, witty, knitty BFFs right in, nearby, Titusville Florida. Check out the photos from our last "Magic Ball" yarn exchange.
Yes, these ARE my girlfriends so, if they make a weird, unattractive face in one of the photos, of course I will not show it!
and, at little "smoothing" from Photoshop never hurts either.
The wonderful toys that came inside of MY Magic Ball. The adorable Snow scene square on left is a measuring tape.
Bonnie's magic yarn ball looks like a giant, ugly pickle.
How's THAT for recycling? A knitting needle bracelet! Aluminum needles for knitting are SO not comfortable for grannies OR young, hip gals!
Ever had to grind your teeth and mutter certain swear words because you read YET ANOTHER headline like,
Knitting, it's not just for grandma anymore!
You know, people who think that knitting and spinning still looks like this:
****see note at bottom
Here's my answer:
Hey dumb would-be-writer dude or mod gal who's too cool to knit, Knitting never WAS just a grandma thing!
Hand spinners were called "spinsters" because they were too smart to settle for Mr. Not-even-passably-attractive. They, wisely, chose spinning instead. The women who invented the Aran Fisherman's Cable designs were gals who were trying to dress their family and make a living, not grannies in polyester with nothing to do but knit and watch Judge Judy.
Not that I am hatin' on grandma. I hope to be one someday and I plan to wear whatever ugly thing feels comfortable. Some people might say I already do. But, I digress.
So here's to MY local knitting posse.
My favorite, knitting-related tatoo on one of our members:
Links to blogs by members of my local knitting posse:
http://web.me.com/bonniebakes/Bonnies_B ... /Blog.html
And, gratuitously, this photo of the self-proclaimed "Queen of Koigu" acting up in a shocking manner at the Magic Yarn Ball exchange.:
This year, we've even had winter in Florida! It's been the coldest winter since 1958 in nearby Daytona Beach. We've even had something resembling snow, which I mentioned in my previous post.
That being the case, we knitters are pretty much the only Floridians not walking around miserable and whiny because we're trying to stay warm wearing cotton.
Yes, right here in America, there are still people who don't understand that cotton is not a proper fiber for winter clothing.
Having mentioned the Calorimetries made for my sister, a friend and myself in my last post, I am sad to report that MY Calorimetry was quickly snatched up by a visiting relative. That is one of the really annoying things about living in Florida; visiting friends and family always assume that THEY need your hand-knit winter garments more than you do.
OK, to be fair, they DID have 4 FEET of snow this winter in Mt. Airy, where I had my alpaca farm. Not sorry I missed THAT.
So now I will be forced to knit another Calorimetry for MOI. Luckily, I have one of the yarns from MY magic ball, just waiting:
Araucania "Limari Multicolor" 70 %Merino, 20% Alpaca, 10% silk, hand-dyed bulky. Can't wait to get started!
Florida - Fibery, Alpaca-Friendly and Fine!
****PS. If you are wondering about the granny-knitting and spinning illustrations used above,
I recently fixed a friend's computer (Not that I KNOW how to do that, so please, Don't call me!)
She inherited this computer from a distant relative. It also had an external hard drive that came with it. She did not want the hard drive; something I find unimaginable. So I took it off her hands.
On the drive I found gay porn and many, old movie posters. Most of the posters, I dumped, but I kept the two above as well as a signed, photograph of my favorite, classic movie-star, Olivia DeHavilland.
Hopefully, I will not be sued by Warner Brothers or whoever made the movie "Mortal Storm" where Nazis threaten the Bavarian granny whilst she winds a yarn ball off of Margaret O'Brien's hands.
Maybe it's time to make a movie about cool, young spinners and knitters. I think I know where we can get a script.
Coming soon - Diary of a Frenzied Fiber Queen - my life as an alpaca breeder otherwise known as Kate's diary.
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I just found your website on the internet. I am a weaver and want to weave with Alpaca - specifically throws and scarves. Can you direct to a link for this yarn produced in the United States?
Thanks so much.
Any current alpaca breeders who are know about weaving, or weavers who use a U.S. produced alpaca yarn want to answer this question please? I am not a weaver.
The person asking lives in Sarasota Florida.
You can use the "contact me" link at upper left.
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my latest hand knit Calorimetry
So last week I was Magic-Linked in a Ravelry discussion. If you don't know about Ravelry, the online community (like Facebook) for Knitters, you can see my article explaining it here:
Article Explaining Ravelry - Fiber People's Facebook
"Magic-Linked" is when one of the 599,615 (as of today) registered members of Ravelry mentions you in an online posting.
Ravelry sends you a message when this happens, and the message begins, "Are your ears burning?" It then goes on to tell you where to find the message that was talking about you. How cool would it be if in REAL LIFE you got a message every time someone talked about you behind your back?
Yeah, maybe not.
Anyway, my Magic-Linked message came from the Ravelry forum of a Florida yarn store, and the author of the message was planning to go to the Florida Alpaca Breeders Show in Jacksonville this February.
I blogged about that show last year here:, FABA Alpaca Show
This person wondered if -I- would be at the show this year. However, the really interesting part of this person's post came earlier when she wrote this about the Florida Breeders alpaca show:
There is usually fiber to be given away… if you find a breeder that just doesn’t know anything about the fiber end of the industry, they are glad to be rid of it (shameful for them, but a great opportunity for you spinners!).
ETA: Look for animal booths with nothing made from fiber…just little samples or nothing at all. That’s a good clue that they only are into the breeding.
Shameful indeed - but right on sister! If alpaca breeders are "glad to be rid of" their alpaca fleece, and making that obvious to their own potential customers, then why expect the customers to be eager to pay good money for it?
This person then goes on to say that she wonders if -I- will be at the show because I had said last year that someone should get a booth there and sell the alpaca fleeces and fiber that the breeders didn't seem interested in selling.
I did talk about this to some of the show's organizers, but they weren't too interested, so there you are. They told me that they have an alpaca fiber show IN AUGUST IN FLORIDA!
Oh, yeah, that's a lot better than having an alpaca fiber show and sale in February in Jacksonville.
Maybe I'll sneak in to this show wearing dark glasses and an alpaca fur mustache, and try out this idea of just asking for free alpaca fleece from the alpaca breeders with no fibery things at their booths. If I do, I'll definitely sneak the camera in with me and report back to you all.
Not that I really NEED more fleece to spin. I still haven't gotten around to spinning the two llama tops I bought in Christmas, Florida at the Cracker Christmas Craft Show in December. I would bet my best spinning wheel that the gray llama top shown here is a 15 micron or less, and it wasn't for sale until I stood there, basically stalking the owner, who was processing it in front of an audience. She had to sell it to get rid of me. Poor thing.
llama top for hand spinning - gray
llama top for hand spinning - fawn color
But now that I have gotten a call from the editor of Camelid Quarterly asking me if I was planning to enter their Camelid Fiber Contest, I may have to just jump on that llama top and get to spinning after all. The deadline is Jan. 31st!!!
Meanwhile, here in lonely, little Scottsmoor, Florida, we had an entire week of actual cold weather, and even a little - okay, a minuscule amount, - of snow!!!
It was really just rain with a (very)few tiny pellets of ice in it, but we're counting it. I had a chance to wear all of my hand knit alpaca and wool socks!
The wicked witch color alpaca socks
The aloe-infused wool socks
I also used the cold as an excuse to knit two more Calorimetrys (see previous post). I changed the pattern though, so that I could use that huge, slubby yarn that I love so much. This one is Wool / Cashmere from the "Queensland Collection" and it's called Big Wave. I found it here:
Big Wave yarn
Big Wave yarn
One of these was for me and I have loved wearing it! No itch, and stays in place without smashing the hair against your head. Wish I'd know about these years ago. The button and the oblong shape are the key I think. I'll get around to posting my changed version of the pattern on Ravelry any day now.
hand knit Calorimetry showing button
So, back to real life, but to all of those people on Facebook who are asking me to "adopt an alpaca" from your virtual, Facebook Farms, please stop! It's cruel! You're making me miss my alpacas more than ever. Get a real farm if you want one so badly!
Speaking of missing alpacas, Thank you, Thank you to my ever-faithful-friend Sue from Wildwood Alpacas for sending me this photo of Francesca, daughter of my girl, Glad.
beautiful daughter of alpaca Galadriel
Can I have her fleece if you're not using it Sue?
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