OUR SMALL HERD

Our four boys came from Ardo Alpacas in Aberdeenshire. We are not alpaca breeders and have our boys purely as pets. Our experience is that you don't need to be a breeder and that a 'batchelor herd' can give much pleasure to the owner. We have 8 acres including our big garden and grazing for the boys, 15 miles north of Inverness, Scotland. I spin, knit, felt and crochet with the fleece from the boys.

Clicking!!

Just a reminder that clicking on (most) of the photos will show them greatly enlarged.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Dyeing


Last weekend I attended a one day course run by Gill at Artisan Threads.  I took along 500g of spun alpaca fleece which were dyed using natural dyes.  As a result I am hoping to dye more fleece at home soon. I have also wound and labelled balls of Fidget's fleece(see pictures left). We have heard from Marjory Tait who previously visited our boys with her parents and who all enjoyed the meeting!  Marjory has two terrific web sites (Keltickatz & Keltickraft - see links)  and the art work and items she produces are great.
The boys are all well and enjoying getting soaking wet then rolling on the ground and becoming covered in mud!  Not a pretty sight for any visitors.  Gully's fringe is growing quite long as it was not fully trimmed when he was sheared so next time they are in the catch pen, it will be haircut time for him!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Highland Guild of Spinners and Weavers

This weekend I attended the Guild's 'Small Felted Jewellery' one day course run by Isobel MacCallum Scott ( see Naturally Sheepish link)and the picture shows the ear-rings I made. I learnt how to make felt balls from Merino tops and hope to use the technique with alpaca fleece. We were also shown how to make necklaces and felted circles.
Our alpacas continue to settle down well with each other and the two new boys, Gully and Gaucho are now fully integrated in the herd. We haltered them at the weekend and Fidget and Fergus had their nails trimmed - and they were very well behaved (for a change!)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Visits


This weekend we visited friends Carole & John in Haddington, East Lothian to see their herd of alpacas - 21 in total - boys, girls and lovely cria. We were also able to see the excellent garments and items produced by Carole from her animals and sold on her Cairndinnis web site. We then crossed to Crianlarich, Perthshire to visit Ian and Debbie who have 4 boys roaming on their 6 acres around their Ewich House, set amidst dramatic Highland scenery. Home then via spectacular Glencoe on a glorious Autumn day to take some photos of sister in law Sheila wearing my crotcheted alpaca hat and scarf from Fyta's and Ardo Hamish's fleece.

Felting

On Sat 26th Sept I attended a felt making class held by the Highland Feltmakers Group, in Dingwall. I made a flat piece of felt from marino tops. I've been experimenting with felting the boys' fleece and was able to pick up some tips at this group.